My Spider Journal: Doug vs The Wolf Spider

Doug's Spider JournalIt’s been a while since I’ve given a spider update, and that’s mostly because I’m fully into drawing Spidermania now. I’ve got so much work to do! And so many spiders to draw!

I can’t share too much of the book yet, but I can share my main spider-related adventure from the past few months: an ongoing mostly-psychological battle with a wolf spider…

Nov. 6. The Biggest Wolf Spider of All.
After a 6 AM conference call, I noticed a very large wolf spider above me near the ceiling behind my desk. It was moving very quickly towards me. I ran to get a jar so I could trap it, but the spider had moved up higher and was now in a difficult spot for covering with a jar. I tried to shoo it away from the edge so I could get the jar over it, but instead it ran off into the corner and down the wall towards the floor – directly behind my desk. Where I work ALL the time.

Now I’m putting my feet on my chair so that I’m not touching the floor and I’m looking everywhere under my desk (from a respectable distance) with a flashlight. The spider has vanished. My heart rate is way up. This one really bothered me. Maybe because it’s so close to where I spend most of my time and now I won’t be able to get comfortable and get work done. Or maybe because it was MASSIVE. A real monster. Oh great my flashlight just ran out of battery life.

Nov 8. Giant Wolf Spider Still At Large.
The gigantic wolf spider is still somewhere under/behind my desk. I store boxes and things under my desk, so there are so many hiding places. I think about that spider all the time now.

Another spider-related comic on Savage Chickens.

Nov. 12. Constant Fear.
It has been almost a week since I saw it, but I am still acutely aware of the enormous wolf spider living behind/under my desk somewhere. Will it be there for the entire book project? Will I spend the entire book creation process waiting for a spider to jump onto my feet/legs/arm? Sitting here is a little stressful now. Is this a good headspace to be in for this book? No? Yes? Maybe!

Nov. 22. Under the Radiator.
I turned the heat on last night for the first time this fall. This morning when I went to turn off the heat, there was a dead wolf spider under the radiator. Did I accidentally fry the wolf spider? I think it’s probably a different one than the one under my desk, since the rad is across the room. Janet says that it might not be a spider. It might be the molted skin of a spider, which is a just plain terrifying thought. Like spiders weren’t freaky enough already without periodically shedding their skins!

Dec 21. Cleaning No Spiders.
Doing a big pre-Christmas clean of my desk, including UNDER my desk, where I assume that wolf spider lives now. But no sign of it! Very stressful, crawling around under my desk, expecting the missing spider to appear at any moment. This feels like something that people don’t normally worry about.

Jan 23. Life Goes On.
I am spending a lot of time drawing spiders now. The book is well underway, and there are so many spiders in it. I am no longer freaking out about sitting at my desk. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that a wolf spider could pop out at any moment, or maybe it’s long gone?

Feb. 8 – Here’s a spider that I did catch. This giant yellow sac spider appeared on the inside of a cupboard door. Surprise! Caught it and released it into the stairwell down the hall.

Next up, I think it’s time for my final spider challenge. Maybe it was dealing with the prolonged fear of that wolf spider? I feel like I’m ready to meet a tarantula. Well, I feel like I’ll never be ready, but I also feel a lot more comfortable with spiders than I was when I started my spider journal. So I’m looking into local places where I can arrange such a momentous meeting. Stay tuned!

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