Thinner #8: Spiderman


There’s a donut in my pocket and I have a nosebleed. I think about eating my donut, but what if the blood gets on it? It’s a glazed donut, and I don’t know how blood and glaze interact on a chemical level.

I’m on the bus. I’m on the bus and I have no napkins, no towels, no Mesozoic era foliage to plug my nose with. The person across the aisle is staring at me as I wiggle around, throwing my head back to hold the blood in. I wonder why I’m doing this. I could simply let it flow, smear the blood on my face and run to the driver, screaming in tongues about madness.

Instead, I pull the cord, and when bus lurches to a stop, a little droplet of blood flies out of me and splatters against the metal pole people hold when there are no seats.

Out into the cold night because it’s November and November could give a fuck about sunlight and warmth. November like being assaulted by a gang member. “Cover yourself with leaves, bitch, and cut the turkey, ‘cuz it’s motherfucking November.

I’m walking home, holding one hand to my nose, blocking it with my coat sleeve, and eating the donut with the other. Keeping my blood off my glaze is a demanding task, and I know I will be very tired when I get home.

Bryan Johnston bought me this donut.

Bryan Johnston is the new guy at work. He does not like ACDC. When he first sat next to me, I turned to him and said:

“Rah Rah RAH hey hey, yeah! Ooh!”

He gazed at me like I was some fascinating species of cockroach.Vague disgust mixed with interest. “What was that?”

“TNT! Dino-MIGHT!”

He spun away from me in his chair. I was left to reflect on why I was this way, and why I could not make a joke like everyone else.

I thought he was mad at me, but at lunch, he gave me a donut. A glazed donut.

So I eat this donut, thinking about ACDC and Bryan Johnston. I’m walking in a light daze, dreamily headed home.

But the ground is moving.

It’s cold and windy, so I assume that the dried, dead leaves were rustling. I stop to re-adjust my blood sleeve, and the ground stops. I take two steps, and the patch of ground behind me picks itself up and scurries along.

It’s spiders.

The ground isn’t moving, there’s just a moving carpet of spiders following me around like a lost cat. I stoop down to touch them, like an emissary of the gods, greeting the tiny arachnids.

A single drop of blood falls from my nose, and splashes among the spiders.

The creatures converge on the spot, drawing together and stacking, building into a mound as it strains to reach me. It’s taking shape, growing taller than me, starting to form a long, misshapen arm.

I said: “Alright,” and turned around, intent on walking away from the spiders as fast as I could. I don’t hate spiders, and I assume some are good, but for the most part my experiences with spiders are bad, and therefore I will judge all spiders that way.

I’m a block away when I look back to the spider-pile, but it’s gone.

A person is standing there.

I don’t have Ali to help. I don’t have a CVS card. I have a donut that apparently takes twenty minutes to eat, and a lot of blood trying to come out of my nose. I can’t tell if the person is made of spiders or if it is a real person, and the thought of a real person is scarier than a spiderman, so I burst into tears and run home, the blood spilling freely down my chin.

My donut is left on the sidewalk, like a bit of roadkill.

Unless the spiderman ate it.

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