“In Summer Bathtubs: acrylic corner bathtub in 1970’s-constructed Brentwood home, Calgary” by Emily Calder

Hello! We hope your long weekend is going well– we’re only half way through! This teaser is from Emily Calder, a U of C student whose work appeared in our Issue 20 and is also upcoming in Issue 21! This piece accompanies her prose piece that will be unveiled in our next issue, so you should come to our launch party on April 27 at Shelf Life books if you want to read more!

In Summer Bathtubs: acrylic corner bathtub in 1970’s-constructed Brentwood home, Calgary

Clyde the house spider, always an aficionado of human language, listened curiously to Lil’s phone conversation. He sat on the rim of the corner tub, in the ensuite off the master bedroom. He could see Lil, in her bathrobe and socks, pacing the bedroom floor.

His English spotty, Clyde worked out that Lil had gone out on a date the previous evening, and it had not gone well. The spider knew from previous reconnaissance that the woman was a widow.

“I suffer from crippling self-awareness,” came the only line that Clyde could comprehend completely, from beginning to end. If Clyde could write he would have written it down. A lovely, self-contained thought. His first full sentence in a second language.

Clyde often wished that spiders had history. If he could write books, he would have something to pass on to his offspring. But of course, who knew which of those passersby in the garden or the boiler room really were his offspring? An aspect of arachnid existence that gave all spiders a great sense of community, an understanding of working for something greater than themselves.

Lil’s eyes landed on Clyde and she started, stopping his reverie. Clyde braced himself. He scuttled away, but in an unfortunate direction. Lil’s disgusted face, and then nothing but the immensity of a bunched up wad of toilet paper, were the last things Clyde saw before he died.