Wellness Today–GVE Side Effects

Happy Friday, friends and foes. Hell of a week it’s been. I’m not going rehash all the mucky details but my day job was a wall-to-wall drama fest this week. Whew. It’s over now. Resolved. Put to bed. Dust settled. I survived.

I spent the better part of the morning Cope Cleaning my office. That’s a term I made up to shorten Coping By Cleaning. Level One Cope Cleaning is assorted tidying, dusting and running the vacuum. Level Two involves purging and organizing files, desk, crap, whatever. Level Three is rearranging furniture in addition to the activities of Levels One and Two. It’s like DEFCON only without the nukes, and it is generally activated after the conflict rather than before. ReliefCon, if you will.

I went all the way to Level Three this morning. There are benefits other than cleanliness. It changes the energy in the space. Makes one feel productive in the wake of things that should/must be changed or controlled by others. It gives the brain a chance to process everything that got stirred up in the preceding clash. Plus, going full-on Level Three meant I got to retrieve all the dropped raisins, almonds, and tri-angled corn chip bits from under my desk. My office vac (let’s call it a Dustbuster On A Stick) won’t reach those dark recesses where all the escaped snacks like to hide. Escaped snacks draw hobo insects which draw hobo spiders.

I named this one Ocho NoNo.

It’s a funny thing about this spider. He’s not the only one; this damn building could double/triple/quad/five as a working spider gallery/clubhouse/spider Airbnb/spider corporate conference center. I usually respond to an encounter by screaming for help, followed by bursting into tears. Someone usually comes to my aid and removes the spider for me while I walk around in circles shaking my hands and mumbling gibberish until it’s over. I’m on my own today, which means I should grab my bag, take a vacation day, and get the hell out of here. Or I could kill him. Or wrangle him like a mustang pony and try to set him free outside without some kind of panic-induced hemorrhage when I lose my nerve halfway through and badly abort the mission. It would be more humane (to me) to just kill him.

And yet.

Maybe I’m tired from Level Three Cope Cleaning. Maybe I’m low on fight or flight juice after the above-mentioned drama fest. Maybe at Day 23 of the GVE I’m whitewater rafting on the River Styx; too vegan to murder spiders now. For whatever reason I’ve decided to leave him alone. (Well, other than the harassing photo.) For now. Every few minutes I look over to check to see if he’s still there. Or she; I guess he could be a girl. He or she hasn’t moved from that spot in the corner all day. Cope Cleaning must have put him at DEFCON 2, which in office spider defense must mean PLAY DEAD.

I think this one must be smarter than your average office spider. He somehow knows to PLAY DEAD but remain in place if vertical to avoid suckage of Dustbuster On A Stick. Maybe he’s also smart enough to know MERCY IS NOT FOOD and won’t hurt me if I continue to leave him alone. Or won’t touch me. Or won’t move a leg in a menacing manner that I might perceive as a reason to spontaneously combust. Spiders are not vegan, ya know. Dear Spider, please don’t bother with me. I taste like vegetables.

The folks in the 30 Day Challenge group say that the term vegan doesn’t refer to food choices alone. It’s a philosophy. It’s broader definition involves lifestyle choices which demonstrate compassion for all living creatures — no cruelty, no exploitation, no abuse, no theft or appropriation of their byproducts, and obviously no killing or eating them. Other than not purchasing animal products, my philosophical vegan-ness (veganality? veganacity? veganescence?) has not been challenged or tested. Until now. It just had to be a freakin’ spider, Universe? 

So I’m obviously done eating at my desk. Or at least done waiting for weeks to Cope Clean dropped morsels of snacks. I’m gonna hafta start dustbusting my feasting floor every day to cut down on bug traffic enough to make the spiders camp out elsewhere. Maybe I’ll go drop some raisins and almonds in another part of the office so the bait bugs will go there and my spider office mate will follow. And tell all his friends.

And then we can all

live and let live and

chance some peace and

macrame some shit and

Simon some Garfunkel and

hug some cows and

the world will be a better place.

— Mercy


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