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Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.

Origin unknown

I am a spider. I am a dangerous one at that. While a real red-back isn’t much bigger than a large mole, the one tattooed on my shoulder is large enough to kill you. And I will. As you are a fly.

After years of travelling, I finally made it to the country the red-back is native to. While in Bangkok nature’s beauty is mostly seen by the busstop, Down Under – before it burnt – the beauty is in its sheer size – and outside the cities. And yes, in the outback there were plenty of flies, but few of the ones I like to catch.

A budget carrier, brand new in the day, took me to Perth, where I found myself a second hand car and drove north. It is said that you either love or hate the Australian landscape; I loved it. The enormous distances where nothing changed; the environment where every inch screamed ‘life is harsh here’, yet the traces of life everywhere, brought me faith in a resilient planet. I slept in the car, showered at roadhouses, drank and ate whereever possible, and drove slowly and short distances on a daily basis. I experienced a friendliness that comes with a deep rooted knowledge that if we don’t help eachother, this land is going to kill us.

It made me more friendly too. I helped out at a farm for a few weeks in exchange for nothing but a bed and food. And I didn’t even act on the advances by the tween daughter of the family. Not even after she insisted she wasn’t scared of my tattoo.

No, I decided to travel on. Only a few weeks later – during which I visited Broome, Darwin, and did a bit of off-road travelling – at the campsite of Tennant Creek did I meet my fly.

I first saw her when she stepped out of her campervan. She was slightly overweight, had blonde hair with blue highlights, wore a cute smile between chubby cheeks and carried herself with the pride and dignity adored by Mika only a few years later. This girl surely could have been his inspiration! Her colourful outfit betrayed a recent journey to India, but it suited her. Human imagination makes everything we can’t see clearly perfect.

I took a shine to her, and she did to me when I asked her to join me for dinner at a local NoMSG Asian restaurant. Fortunately for her they served a decent chicken tikka masala; fortunately for me they also had a very acceptable tom yum kung. We ate, we drank and we talked. We talked about our journies and what they had taught us. We hit it off well, for some of the lessons learnt were recognisable, and it had been quite a while for either of us since we’d been with anyone. So when the restaurant cloesed, we found ourselves kissing in her campervan where, only a little while later, she went itsy bitsy spider, slid down my semen spout.

I once heard that you’re not old until it takes all night to do what you used to do all night. Well, we weren’t old. And we proved that again and again for the next couple of months, travelling the outback together. Every blip on the map, and often even between blips, we found a reason to stop – she in the van, me in my car – and do what mammals do on discovery channel. Yes, also out in the open on the sand, on a picknick matt, on our clothes or just standing up.

We didn’t get far quickly that way, because the relentless lovemaking and subsequent lack of sleep. We’d wake up around noon, induced an orgasm on eachother, and then drive for a few hours till we agread that drowsy drivers do indeed die; and then we’d find a spot to, well, you get the picture…

Eventually we’d travelled the Nullarbor highway in both directions, and were parked close to the edge of the cliffs on the Great Ocean Road. The best view was through the windshield looking out at the ocean, so we sat in the front seats, naked, sattisfied like the kiwi with his sheep, enjoying the view and the knowlede that there was nothing but water between us and Antarctica. That’s where she told me she wanted to take me home and meet her parents.

I am a spider. By nature I am a solitary creature. But I’m not impervious to cultural importance; I knew what it meant that she wanted me to meet her parents. If you’ve created images in your head of the story so far, you know my way out. We finished the night with another round of raunchy sex. I then waited for her to fall asleep; took the handbrakes of and put the gears in neutral. Then, at about 2:15 a.m., I pushed the campervan over the edge, about fifty metres down where it crashed to smithereens. I glimpsed over the edge and caught sight of her head being unnaturally far away from other parts of her body, got in my car and drove off.

Sydney welcomed me late the next day. I slept well, and another day later I found a tattoo artist to add a fly to my shoulder, which was starting to fill up by now. The next day, I got on a plane. Out.

I am a spider. I can be patent, but by nature I kill flies. And even though at times I may seem nice, when you start to think that I am: run. Unless you have the desire to be remembered through a tattoo.