On the way to Mom's house last Spring for Easter, I was listening to my iPod while the rest of the family dozed. Enter song #1, "Spider and I" by Brian Eno.
"Spider and I sit watching the sky
On a world without sound
We knit a web to catch one tiny fly
For our world without sound
We sleep in the mornings
We dream of a ship that sails away
A thousand miles away."
I started thinking about spiders...real spiders. They're basically deaf, y'know. Then I flipped over to Belle and Sebastian, "The Boy Done Wrong Again".
"On Saturday I was an angel shining fair
You shone louder, longer
You put my shine to shame
Put me to shame now
What is it I must do to pay for all my crimes?
What is it I must do?
I would do it all the time
Do it all the time now"
Just a sampling of the lyrics, but I heard Jack's voice, thinking about what he'd done to help Spider survive. You see, Jack is a foster child--now wandering the world as an itinerant with Spider.
The final bit of Spider came from this place:
A company called Gilmore-Tatge used to build parts for grain augers in my home town. Now the factory is empty. You can see a small red #5 flag in the bottom left corner. The factory is adjacent to a park (we were playing there with Grandma and the boys). The old factory is a spooky relic...out of place in a small town. I asked myself, what if Spider lived there with Jack?
The first line of the story:
"[Spider and I] leaned on a window ledge in our abandoned factory home while the full moon lit the streets below like little silver-grey arteries."
This piece haunted me for a year before finding a publisher.