A spider on the ceiling. Its crawling slow, cautious over the popcorn, as if it stops to watch them occasionally. The table lamp on, yellow light fuzzy through the shade. They meet in the lamp's light. It's not an easy congress they have. His thighs are new to hers. Her elbows sharp on his shoulders. The curve of his belly does not fit precisely in the hollow of hers. It is the way things are. Neither of them expect the world to fade away in a rush with their fumbling toward each other. In fact, she's looking at the spider on the ceiling, watching its legs slowly arch and plant as if each step is monumental. She clamps her thighs around his head and wonders how she arrived here. She's an attorney and never wears high heels. She'll sag nearly every day against the restroom stall and uncup her breast to scratch vigorously at the chaff that occasionally reds there. There is such a relief when she does that. She occasionally ventures back to work without the bra, loose and swinging in her business blouse.
He pulls up and rests his head on her hips. Hair scratches his cheek. Bone juts into his temple. She is warm in his left ear, the right open to her breathing. He wonders if this is love. His left big toe aches where he stubbed it this morning. He carries a long comb in his back pocket, all his money in the front. He worries about pickpockets. His phone is thick with alarms. As a teenager, he had cheekbones. Now, not so much. His ribs are hidden also. Three months into management and he's started rounding out into his clothes. He feels that jowls are intrinsic to good management style, that it's necessary his mandates be delivered with substance. It's not that he doesn't appreciate nakedness, he just feels out of sorts the way children feel when their parents spell out words they don't understand. His pants are off, but his shirt is on. He swims in a tee-shirt. Wears socks on the beach. His legs itch on the carpet. He's a little cold. The computer room equipment at his employment is protected with two independent alarms systems. He worries that his cock is small.
"What do you want to do?" he asks. He's willing to do whatever she wants.
"Sometimes I just want it all to end." she says.
"Don't say that." He kisses her belly.
She pushes him back down.
The spider has moved nearly across the ceiling before he hits the spot. She bucks and clutches. It's done. He raises his slick face. Smiles. She feels sweet toward him now. She touches his face. It's not so bad. He's like a chocolate candy with a cherry in the middle. It's not that she dislikes cherry, but rather thinks it's a let down once the rich shell has crumbled from its consumption. He's nervous in the light and wary in the dark. She mutters something in French, which he doesn't understand. She pulls him up to kiss him, tastes herself.
Progress arrives slowly to the spider, but it's resolute. She doesn't understand what propels its search. It appears aimless with all its portentous movement. She'll kill it with a shoe, she decides. Yes, that's what she'll do. She relaxes into the warmth of the body next to hers, plots her murder. The spider is oblivious. It moves still as if each slow step it takes still has an importance.