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Hello, Darryl.

No. No. Look up. Further. Further. In the corner. Jesus. The OTHER corner. Yes!

Your eyes do not deceive you. It is I. The Manspider. In the carapace.

What am I doing in the unreachable corner of your vaulted living room ceiling? It’s complicated.

I bet you expect a pun, right now. They always want a pun. Well, you’re not getting one.

Darryl, I’m here because I need your help. Yes, I. The mighty Manspider.

You may not remember, but we used to be roommates. I was actually born here. About a year ago. Yeah. Before I unwittingly moved into that building where they were doing genetic experiments and mistook a petri dish for an above ground spider pool.

I’ve had a pretty rough couple of months. I’m sure you saw all that hullabaloo on the news. Human DNA mixed with an arachnid body during an electrical storm. The birth of The Manspider. My subsequent and well publicized misadventures. I feel like a Kardashian. All the questions as to whether I’m friend or foe, the comments about my abdomen. It’s exhausting.

Before the NeuGen Incident, I had a pretty straightforward set of priorities. Make web, eat moth, watch out for birds and newspapers. Thank god that print media is dying, by the way. If we had the ability to process complex thought, that would be a HUGE deal in the spider community.

But now, ever since the concept of mortality suddenly shifted from the unconscious to the conscious part of my brain, I can’t sleep. I know things. Too many things.

For instance, I learned there are like a million kinds of birds. And even if I manage to avoid them all, guess what? DEATH IS STILL INEVITABLE. At some point, my cells are going to cease to divide, or something like that. One of the scientists gave me an article that’s supposed to explain it pretty clearly, but as I mentioned, I’m not huge on print media.

What’s worse are all these social boundaries. Like, apparently, it’s not cool for me to wander into someone else’s garage and post up on the wall? What the eight-legged fuck? That’s basically my favorite thing to do!

People expect me to pay for things, now. OK, that kinda makes sense, except for the part about how money lives in small plastic cards and is based on confidence or gold or whatever, not concrete things like tree branches, moth heads, or cardboard stacks. You know, things of actual use.

But riddle me this, human. How am I supposed to get a decent paying, socially acceptable job without a college degree? There are a bunch of pretty clear admission standards that keep animals from attending school. There is no TITLE XIII for The Manspider. The pile of cardboard is stacked against me!

And, yeah, I get that they sometimes give honorary degrees to one of those companion dogs who attends class with her owner, for clickbaits and giggles, but I’m nobody’s fucking sidekick. Nobody’s.

There are so many rules. Don’t fight crime. Don’t eat cats. Don’t call someone when you could just text. Don’t appropriate human culture. Don’t attach your egg sack on the back of the president where, I might add, there are tons of suspicious moles. See? I can be political.

Hold on, though. That’s right, I said eggsack. Eggsack.

Surprise, world! The Manspider is a woman!

It’s so frustrating. You humans and all your prejudices. You just assume anything weird is a dude. Look for the clues, dummies! Do I have to draw a fucking arrow to my epigynum? Plus, only female spiders have venom, and everyone knows I have venom.

UNLESS PEOPLE JUST SUDDENLY FORGOT I POISONED AND ATE KARL MALONE.

Don’t give me that look. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those “We used to live together and nothing happened, but maybe there was a spark” things. I didn’t come back here to fuck and/or poison you.

Here’s the rub, roomie. I really do need your help. I’m so tired.

Tired of the limelight. Tired of having enemies and expectations. Of people telling me not to jump so far or lift things that are eight times my bodyweight. Of the DMV refusing to give me a driver’s license. Of all the Charlotte’s Web jokes. Of not being able to chill in garages I don’t own.

I just want a place I can be comfortable, be myself, be free from all this fucking Arachnophobia.

If it’s OK with you, I’d like to move back in.

Look, if it’s about money, don’t trip. I can cover the mortgage, no sweat. Ha! Because spiders don’t sweat!

But seriously. A human I ate helped me set up this Etsy shop where I’m gonna sell sweaters and stuff made out of my silk. It’ll be a fucking goldmine.

I know you’re skeptical. But think about it: You didn’t even know I lived here the last time. I was THAT GOOD of a roommate.

Just say yes. I promise it will be great for both of us. I was born here, Darryl. I know it’s technically your house, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a home.

Would it help if I made a pun? That’s how low I’m willing to stoop. For this. For you.

I just need a place I can… ugh. You can do this. Be strong.

Darryl. Please.

I just need a place I can…

Hang out.

Zach Straus

Zach Straus peaked at 15 and is mostly held together by masking tape.

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