she left without saying goodbye. perhaps she thought it was less painful this way. perhaps, because she didn't say goodbye, she is still here by my side, in the air around me.
at this point, i am still unable to put her in the ground where munster lies. she sits here in front of me, seemingly resting. but i know she is no longer in that shell. she will no longer perk up, and peer earnestly at me, or clamber up onto my hand with her furry little paws. she will no longer do her funny little dance that so many of you have come to adore.
she has gone through so much in the past few months. and survived each time like the trooper she was. in time to come, i will list her adventures, in memory of her.
when i wrote for munster, the words flowed freely. words do not flow now, for there are no adequate ones to describe how i feel right now. this was a baby i raised from the day she emerged a newborn spiderling of 2.5mm, to her full adult glory of 1.5 inches. from the very night i picked her out of lucy's litter, she made an impression. she spun the largest and most beautiful hammock i'd ever seen a newborn spideybub spin - not on their first night, not on any night thereafter. her siblings made little haphazard beds out of random silk threads. some even slept standing on the walls.
lucien had a very calm and deliberate nature, that i noticed from her baby days. she never changed. she never panicked. she never rushed about in terror, the way her siblings sometimes would. i also noticed that she was sometimes rather oblivious to things around her... it's almost as if she was frequently daydreaming. perhaps this contributed to her lack of fear. she simply didn't know what fear was all about.
she grew up into the most beautiful spider. countless hours we spent, as she explored her fascinating little world of camera and human hand, nightly for many months. every evening, she did her funny little dance and did the rounds - jumping from hand to camera, camera to hand. it was the most incredible feeling to have her on my hand... this amazing little creature that you've watched grow up bit by bit, pattering on your skin, peering into your eyes.
as she aged, there came the day she lost the ability to walk on the walls. with that, she needed to be fed. i don't know how much bad karma i have earned, but i have crippled many a cricket to feed my little girl. she could no longer jump, with the loss of grip, as she could not launch herself off a surface anymore. she basically had to walk up to a prey and just grab it. when she started to lose fur from the top of her head, the same way her mother did, i knew she was getting really old.
the few times i had her out on my hand again, it pained me to see her aging. she struggled to cling on to my skin, and i would turn my hand so she would always be on top of it. i even managed to stage a few situations for her to jump tiny distances, since she was able to grip very slightly on my skin. i knew she must have missed being able to jump.
and even though she was no longer a good-looking bub or young lady, she would always be my very beautiful baby girl.
two days before her departure, i fed her a concussed cricket as usual. she was rather distracted, and it took a lot of coaxing to get her to grab the prey. five minutes later, i was surprised to see that she had dropped it. she washed her face and wandered around again. it took another bout of coaxing to get her to take the cricket again. five minutes later, she dropped it again. i then thought she might not be hungry. it never occurred to me that it was the first sign that she was fading.
goodbye my little lucien. thank you for being such an amazing spideykid. you have given me so much joy, and so much wonder. at times, there was grief, when i worried for you. but you would always pull through. you have bonded with me in a way i never thought possible. we have had so much good times, you and i. i'm going to miss you so very, very much. and i didn't think i could love a spider this much, but i did... and still do. you have etched yourself so very deeply into my heart, my baby girl. i doubt anyone is ever going to fill the very large shoes you have left behind. all eight of them.
my little movie star, my furry darling, please rest in peace now. please know that i will never stop missing you.