I'm staying in a cottage just a couple of blocks from the ocean in northern California. I'm spending four days alone. Writing. A five year dream finally realized. The day before I left. I had a major meltdown. I worried that my expectations would be too high. That I wouldn't be productive. Or that the place wouldn't be as beautiful or conducive to writing as I imagined.
After a six hour plane ride, my nerves calmed. I picked up my rental car, three bags full of delicious groceries, headed across the Golden Gate bridge and into Marin County. The place was gorgeous. Just as advertised. Inspiring views. A stocked kitchen. A fireplace to warm me. A long table with plenty of space to work.
After settling in, I worked facing the ocean until my stomach rumbling could no longer be ignored. As I washed the dinner dishes a spider popped out of the drain. It crawled up the sink. It was heading for the counter where I stood. I blasted it with a quick stream of water, sending it back down the drain, crumpled. A little while later I went to get a cup of tea and saw the spider crawling back up again. This time, I smashed it. Then sent it back down the drain.
A couple of hours later I went to bed, waking up around 12:30 with dreams of spiders crawling all over me. Invading every orifice. Chasing me down a gloomy, desolated street. I woke up brushing them off my arms and hair. Startled. Wide awake. Vigilant. Though I may have won the battle, even in the afterlife, the spider won the war.