I have an embarrassing and ridiculous phobia. Spiders. Not the little ones so much. It’s those big, black scary spiders we get on the damp Canadian West Coast in autumn. I know. They’re harmless. They eat other insects. They’re more afraid of me than I am of them. My mom already told me all this. But if you’ve got a phobia, you know logic holds no power over it.
I have nightmares about spiders. I scream like a little girl at the sight of them. When I was fifteen I bought my little brother his first skateboard in exchange for killing one in my basement bedroom. It was ten bucks at a garage sale, but still. Back then, ten bucks was four hours of babysitting. That’s a lot of spider fear.
Hence the chestnuts. They’re lined up along our windowsills and doorways. They’re tucked in dusty corners all over the house. Why? To keep the spiders away, of course. Apparently the oil is toxic or somesuch. The why doesn’t actually matter to me.
If you’re tempted to post a comment telling me that chestnuts do not, in fact, repel spiders, please don’t. I like feeling I have some control over the situation, even if it’s false, based on an old wives tale. Let me believe.
Besides, they look kind of pretty next to the other magical objects, don’t you think?