I've been in my new apartment for just under a month.

Last night, on Thursday, I turned on the ceiling light in my kitchen, and at some point, happened to glance up at it. It's basically an elliptical bowl held to the ceiling with a metal frame, without any gaps that I can see.

Inside this translucent bowl, I caught a shadow of something, and it slowly dawned on me that this was not some bit of debris. It was a spider--a really big one.

I can only see this spider in silhouette, but even accounting for a slight projection effect from the light that casts its shadow, when it stretches its legs out forward and back it's about 2 inches long. From its general shape I'm guessing it might be a wolf spider. It's definitely alive, because it does like to rest with its legs out like that--it's not curled up, like a dead spider--and sometimes walks lazy laps around the ellipse. I do think it is trapped in there. Maybe it wandered into the lamp when it was smaller, caught some bugs, and got too big to escape. Or maybe it's just not clever enough to get out, like a wasp in a glass trap. It could have been here for a long time, because it's not visible from all angles and can hide itself fairly well behind parts of that metal frame. Plus, I just don't always look up at the lamp. It might have been living here longer than I have.

I found myself in a conundrum. If it were just me versus the spider on open linoleum, I'd just kill it. I have flyswatters in the house, which offer a +1 Valor bonus against spiders. And if I needed to disassemble the lamp for some innocuous purpose, like putting in a new light bulb, that would be fine. But I don't trust myself to figure out the lamp, deal with the gravity being against me, and dodge a huge live spider (okay, maybe not huge for some places, but huge for the Bay Area suburbs) at the same time. There's an inordinately high chance I'll flinch, and drop and break something, possibly myself. So I put in a work order for someone familiar with the construction of this lamp to come and evict the spider.

But Friday was when everyone had the day off for Veterans Day (not me; my job helps keep the Internet alive). So the spider is staying here until Monday.

It's rather stressful living with a spider. I don't think it can escape, but I'm not 100% certain, so I have to keep glancing to make sure it's still there. I wish it were never here at all, but if it did escape unsupervised, that would be infinitely worse. Some people might consider living this way to be even more frightening than facing the spider openly. Every time a breath of wind tickles the hair on my arms, I shudder.

The last time I wrote about spiders in my house, I gave them names. I guess I'll have to name this one. And yet, somehow, my brain doesn't want to really attach a name to this spider. It's just The Spider.

I feel a little bad for it. It's stuck, after all, and probably knows this isn't a good place to be long term.

...but not bad enough to spare it.

...Yes, that name will do.

Sorry, Muffet.

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