by Richard Norway
A small harmless house
spider walked along the sidewalk with all of its legs scrambling to
get to the other side, to the safety of the lawn. It seemed frantic
to get out of our way as Terry and I approached.
Terry’s boot came down
and crushed the spider.
I looked up at Terry,
bit my lower lip.
“Gotcha.” was all he
'What is it about our
lives that makes us so callous to the other lives around us? Are we
afraid? Is the fear of those around us that ingrained? And why do
we feel the need to constantly defend ourselves? But isn’t that
fear really also fear of ourselves?' I thought.
“What’s wrong Chris? It
was just a spider.”
“But it was alive,
As Terry’s eyes focused
on the sidewalk in front of us, we made our way to our high school
to start another Monday of classes. I watched him closely, seeing
that look of defiance, of self-satisfaction that he had just
controlled his world again. I knew Terry was afraid of being outed
at school, but the spider was something that he could control. The
insecurity of others was something that he could not control. He
could control how he himself acted, how he could deny who he and I
I turned to him, sadly
thinking of Terry, my boyfriend, my boyfriend who couldn’t admit to
himself who he is. And because he couldn’t admit who he is, he
couldn’t admit who I am either.
I knew that Terry was
afraid. Terry was even afraid of me for what I represent to him.
Terry stopped moving,
he no longer walked next to me. I turned around and saw him standing
on the sidewalk, staring at me. Then I noticed his eyes.
“What is it? What’s
Terry walked up to me,
stared at me for a moment, and slowly wrapped his arms around me.
“Chris. Something just
happened to me.”
“What?” I didn’t know
if I should be concerned.
Terry waited, still
holding me tight, and then tighter.
“I think I might have
just killed myself.”
“What are you talking
“Chris, that spider
was... was me.”
Terry and I came out
to the high school that morning.