Sunday, 9 June 2013


This is a work of fiction
Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Prelude  © All rights reserved.

The problem:

Caught off-guard with a recent encounter, poor old Spider's bachelor lifestyle had almost been derailed.

Spider had avoided developing emotional ties with the opposite sex leading to him encountering all sorts of difficulties and personal dilemmas. Loneliness featured in his world from time to time and when it did he'd filled the voids with many many conquests. Notching up success after success - his confidence grew. But yet strangely enough Spider grew more lonesome and distant with each passing day. Then finally he met a unexpected challenge.  I will tell...

Quiet unaccustomed to waiting around long enough to explore the more delicate and tender side of  the female persona he was more than pleasantly surprised with what he'd found when he finally did. But as Spider was unqualified in the arena of romantic relationships, his skill sent had fallen well short of the qualities required to sustain a long term relationship: honesty, fidelity, and so forth - you get the picture...

So as you might expect Spider's maiden voyage into that yet unexplored territory ended very badly for him. He was left with unfamiliar emotions to contend with... It is at this juncture that the telling of this tale really begins...
                             Chapter 1: Crisis to Crisis

It is early 2012. The Republic of Ireland is in the firm grip of a economic crisis. In 2008 the banks were declared insolvent; the financial crisis almost brought the Country and beyond to its knees. But, this financial stuff nearly went past Spider's notice -  he has busy with his own personal crisis after all.   

By summer 2012 Spider had in development a new life plan. And by September 2012 his unlimited hopes for the future began to tumble into the virtual world of online dating sites. The feeling, it was intoxicating to Spider.

He'd yearned to try out on-line dating for years. It was merely a few days after his recent girlfriend had walked out; but he'd managed to stay positive. He was more than determined to drag the lost pieces of his fragmented world together and as best as he could  he'd present those pieces in a most tactful if not deceitful way, so others might show him some appreciation...'

Hazard's previous girlfriend was ten years younger than he; slim and beautiful. She was good to him in the time they'd spent together. There were those times when she'd more than proved her devotion to him. After falling for the first time he'd never felt quite equal to her. The second time mattered less until there was a pattern of recurring infidelity.

Those horrid lies he'd told her. He'd lay awake well into the nighttime. It was always there in the room; right there between them. Deep down he knew he'd send her away for good with his carrying on; yet he could not stop. Nor could he fully understand the nature of his particular dilemma. What would come over him - how was it he was so often drawn towards the wild side. Yet paradoxically he was unable to resist the company of his recent companion.

"Like a sinner before the gates of Heaven he'd come crawling back..."

Spider felt the unfairness of his life. He' d so little say over the deceits that kept them both trapped. What a horrendous situation to arrive at.  It ate at him every day like a terrible cancer; his poor judgement undoing whatever good she'd accomplished in those earlier and care free day. He could see those days so vividly now.     Yet here he was again. Pushing his best foot forward - 'portraying to the world the ideal self....!'  

Stay positive!

He was confident in his looks despite being forty... An easy and fun personality had Hazard. 'That was an added bonus'. He wrote that fact into his consciousness... The prospects looked very good indeed he considered.

Hazard was eager to equal or perhaps better his past relationship accomplishment.  He'd attached his best photo ever. It happens to be one from just a few months earlier; so the picture was recent. He looked slightly tanned, eyes glinting sky blue against a full head of hair styled with a quiff. The baby blue shirt over dark silver-grey trouser pants sat well against a relatively tense body. 

The photo disclosed the gentlest signs of a period of physical and mental exhaustion. Spider had been tired and stressed more than a lot. His mid-rift sagged just slightly as a consequence; but the drift wasn't so obvious; it hardly equaled a full crisis. Hazard felt good about how he looked. That photo had captured the best of his features. He'd aged very well indeed. His ex-girlfriend had often remarked he looked like a male model. 

Spider had a masculine look; broad shoulders and a strong frame. But he had an eerily beautiful face. So often he was told he was Ireland’s answer to George Clooney. Spider did have a air too. He was a beautiful for sure. Perhaps he'd shown his finer qualities in not such a subtle way. 

Some of his past conquests remarked about his 'confidence'; showing more than a a glint of annoyance on their faces when commenting to their friends. Usually, the harsher comments were spurred by the fact they'd been dumped with little warning:: 'Mr. Fucking Entertainment'. Ouch!!

Spider's first real relationship was a revelation to him. He found her spontaneous and pleasant remarks at his general features a surprise and perhaps a challenge to his often weakened esteem. With time her kindness seeped into him; her words spilled out so generously and so softly over him as would her touch. He quickly traveled down a path of painful self discovery. 

Slowly she'd replenished him. Those earlier years of erosion: the deceits; the self lie he'd lived, all of it seemed to evaporate.  

There were moments of painful conflict. His new love had sometimes sat awake at night just looking at his face; studying it almost. She'd cry occasionally; her tears falling silently as he'd pretended to sleep. She’d loved him; he knew that now. But it had been without due recognition from him at the time. He'd remained somewhat pre-occupied; he'd not developed to navigate such difficult emotional terrain. He ran... 


                               Chapter 2: The Lure
Responding to the final instruction to attach an interesting and catchy punch line to the online dating application, Spider wrote: “what probability is to numerical, possibility is to imagination”.  It tickled! 'That will send them wild with wondering', he thought. He laughed to himself as he thought about what might be ahead. 'Simple things are minds when you know a little about how they work', he considered.

Hazard decided too to ‘subtly’ mention on his profile page that he loved to sit outdoors in the city, where he said he regularly enjoyed coffees during the daytime hours. He too landed a cheeky invitation to say hello; should they ever see him. And, too, that if there were among them those a little bit more daring that he would be delighted if these characters chanced to show themselves. Continuing in full free-fall Spider laid out his grandest invitation of all: ' stop and chat -perhaps enjoy a coffee with him too '... 

He typed frantically!!

Spider had good instincts. He decided to edit a section where he stated that he was not looking for anything serious...! He'd sensed that that standalone statement would be off-putting to more than ninety percent of women of childbearing age in Ireland. We’re in the grip of a baby boom; he knew well men needed to be wary when they ventured out into the field. They needed to be wise about how they operated.

To soften the blows to hopes of family and perhaps family life Hazard mentioned instead that “He liked to connect with people’’. ... That he'd so many interesting things to talk about and that he'd really loved to hear their points of view too...  All this to disguise the more obvious focus that he was just interested in types of casual friendships. With some added extras; which he'd get to mention later on in.

'Thanking all them ladies in advance should they decide to attend at the banquet', Spider chuckled most invitingly.


So there it was: Spider’s web spun neat and tight....! It was hard for him to sit and wait not knowing exactly what might happen.

It excited him to think that a nice juicy insect might get a little curious and chance to glide his way.  How his mind ran utterly wild with the thoughts of the adventures that lay ahead.

Spider didn't have much faith in the overall functioning of dating sites. So he figured that if he played it cute, he could take a chance and see if could get for free what most people had to pay for.  How joyous he felt when his profile got published unedited. The gentle lure to the ladies to join him in the city for a coffee had remained intact. 

It was very clever of him indeed dropping in the hint that he'd likely to be hanging around the city having coffees. Surly some of those voyeur types too shy to put their profile up online might also come along out of interest to watch on. It excited him to think what might likely take the time to stroll around the city center; perhaps find him. Try'n ‘strike up a little interaction ’. 

On a few occasions Spider ventured to take a glance at a few dating sites to see if there was any talent worth dating. Mostly curious!

Perhaps other voyeur types did this. Perhaps fed up and sitting at home alone waiting for their prince charming to arrive at their door and make the magic happen would Spider be the incentive the needed to get off their bums and get out and about and do something else with their yearnings other than eat cookies. Surly, there too were those lingering in unfulfilled relationships and had not yet taken the plunge.... Spider was there to help!

Spider had some past experience of those subtler types. Those that preferred to operate with a marked level of discretion. He felt rather expert at this juncture in most matters to do with managing relational activity. He was fully aware of these characters’ special needs and was at a  life juncture fully open to accommodating them. Having been stung badly he was even less considerate that he ordinarily would have been.

Considering Spider's general feelings about the online dating racket I had to agree that a hybrid approach of his was the more preferable approach for this type of project. The approach had many advantages and it straddled two worlds; it brought the virtual world to life.

Spider didn’t want to have to make expensive subscriptions to those dating sites if he could avoid doing so. There was the added hassles of getting to know people online too; eventually he might get to exchange some contact details - if he were lucky. Not that he had previous experiences of online dating, but this was his reckoning of how it all worked anyhow.  

Spider wanted that sense of excitement; he wanted to generate a sense of mystery. This is where the incentive was for him. No point getting on board the project otherwise. His argument was simple enough: 'if you already know so much about the person before you meet up isn’t it already beginning to feel something like a jaded marriage'.

Too True!

Yes, Spider's hybrid approach seemed well worth a shot. It cut straight through the messing. Quite simply his tactics didn’t put him out any one little bit either. He was always in the city drinking coffees. So if the girls were intelligent enough to pick up on the sly little invite and wanted to dress up and make the effort to wander his way then all is looking very good from his angle....   

All things are possible with the use of a little imagination... Don't you agree?

Spider decided to repeat the same process on other dating sites to increase his overall chances. Scenarios of lonely ladies doting over themselves when they saw his pictures ran wild in his mind. And the thoughts of him sitting across a table gazing into their pretty little faces with endless possibilities in sight titillated him no end too. He was having so much fun already!!

There was an overt sense of liberation as Spider finally switched off the computer. He'd wanted to engage with the online life-world for a long time. Then he'd finally came into contact with me and his dark yearning  were give a greater degree of purpose.

He'd been envious of the stories his friends told of their dating experiences. Married women too.  

No Joking it was so unexpected for him; he was shocked by some of the stories he was told. Putting ethics and judgments aside for a minute there really is a thrill to meeting new people regularly. You have to agree there: it’s the ‘seeing what happens bit’ that drives the imagination...! Men more so than women would seem prone to this, I think. Who knows! But for sure the darker activity will always fire up the human imagination.

Spider pushed away the computer. He remained deep in contemplation: "If those little darlings wanted to stay sitting at home alone eating ice-cream and chocolates on Friday nights then that was their loss totally", he muttered."Whereas, if they made the extra effort to come to the city they may well get to dine with a less than simplistic spider". The entire idea of it made him chuckle most uncontrollably. 

It was time to get involved. Spider sat on the margin watching others taking a firm grip of their life for too long. Now it’s time to move online; get to where the action was. Get the project operational. At last he'd been freed up to enter this secret parallel universe.

Spider was destined to go there and he was now in a time and place in his life where all things were at least seemingly possible. He felt glad for his freedom of sorts. There were times in the past when he'd felt the terribly confined by his relationship situations. At times this had made him morbid. He was a creature drawn to the hunt. No more mating in captivity for him. If his plan worked all things to come would be wild and Free...!!

                                        Chapter 3: New Beginnings
Two days after engagement with the virtual world of online dating, there's were no phone calls from Spider's ex-girlfriend; but he proved rather popular on the dating sites (according to administrator reports at least). Quite a number of views already. 


Spider was surprised to find that people using dating sites were not good at reading the printed word. This had displeased him immensely. He'd clearly remembered stating he was looking to meet women aged between twenty five to thirty five: 'it’s not so long back that the detail of what was written couldn't be remembered. Spider's could hardly suppress his annoyance. He muttered under his breath. So clearly he remembered those specific details.

Spider had pushed the possibility frontier outwards slightly when he put the lower limits at twenty five years; I refrain from commenting any on that matter.
On probability it was always going to be more likely that respondents would be much closer to the higher end of thirty five if not older; but it were truly a surprise to Spider to discover it was the fifty something and sixty something categories that were signalling interest. 

A big disappointment indeed!

There is a place for everybody. But these weren't exactly what was advertised for. What he got in terms of appearance too didn't match what he was expecting either. Perhaps there was some administrative mistake. Some error on the application somewhere... Maybe Spider needed to go back and start editing again; tightening things down more. The only other explanation he could possibly think up was there are lot of people with underdeveloped literacy skills. 'People to busy to read small print...'! Read between the lines too girls...!

Poor Spider, his hopes tumbled...! 

Bumble bees, wasps, moths and all sorts of low flying aircraft apparatus got tangled up in his neatly spun web. Maybe he needed to reconsider how he worked this thing. Maybe try'n face the web in another direction completely. Straight into the wind was never such a good idea. It was always likely that everything drifting along to slow to navigate the sky would get stuck. 'This is a major setback Spider - is rebuilding the web to be the work of your life?'

Stay Positive!

So the initial introduction to the world of online dating was not a full success yet.

It was Spider's first time out. He thought about altering the plan a little. Rumble through the candidates that had advertised themselves and select within those characters the desired age range; those with the preferable appearances too. And he'd only indicate interest in those ones. Exclude the rest completely. Now - we're thinking clearer

Strategic Planning!!

That's not a sign that your shallow!  Presentation is important. As are general characteristics of the personality thereafter.  You mustn't sell yourself short in life Spider. The purpose of the exercise is to achieve a sense of personal liberation. You don't want to be seen hanging around waiting; having your sense of self-worth floored by repeated failures. The wrong types turning up...!

People will be laughing at you...


Communicate clearly your not done in yet; not by a long shot. And most certainly emphasize you haven't arrived at the point where you will even consider settling  for a hostage taking situation. Someone looking for a serious relationship - honestly! Politely say 'no thanks darling'. Then move swiftly along. 

'Stick with the cookies girls', The Spider has just left the building running...'

                                        Chapter 4: Into Action
There is a time factor to this work. It's probably the thing that’s most annoying Spider. He finds that going online each day is quite tedious; and the whole process is so repetitive.


There is also the very strong encouragement to make a financial subscription. Less than subtle prompts fired at him repeatedly: if you subscribe to this that and the other type of package people will be able to indicate their interest in you more.... bla bla bla!!   

Not one bit convinced...

Thrown in on day two was a picture of a totally hot model (perhaps a porn star or something). With a script to put the best of the Hollywood actresses to shame; poison enough to get Spider's blood boiling hot she had. But wait. This is the best bit: she’s just spotted Spider's picture and she's wanted to chat with him... Exclusive!! Now isn’t that just a piece of magic!

There is a problem however. It would seem Spider has to make a weighty subscription to get his replys. Hmm!
It would appear the Spider can't remember where he's left his credit card?
Now he's just remembered - it was cancelled on him last week. Opps!

A little over indebted is the Spider!

So the initial introduction to online dating has not been the best example of the life of freedom Spider envisaged for himself. On the upside his profile had been viewed loads; but on the down-side his picture has been supported by mostly by older women; some closer to retiring age. There has been no contact at all from those he's indicated to that he would like to meet up with. It's fairly disappointing for Spider overall. But the overall project remains intact and it's too soon to give up.

'Focus on the endgame Spider... Outcomes. It’s all to play for.'

Stay positive!

                                   Chapter 5: Sting in the tale
There was a twist of fate coming.  Spider has been spending far too much time attending to the virtual world.  There was the task checking daily progress reports; time is scarce and precious. There were timeline pressures. Moreover, it made no sense to Spider to achieve freedom on the one hand then find himself a prisoner in a virtual world.

There was something else too becoming apparent. His finely tuned instincts told him there is the trap somewhere. He couldn't see it but how well he could sense it. Hmm!

'Too much tickle about what might happen sometime in the future: next week, next month..,  Nothing certain. This was not the life for Spider. Hazard was far too clever to get sucked into that load of madness. He felt it were time he got back out there into the real world and made things happen - put his old talents to work. Walk tall with the beautiful.  

One thing about Spider once he'd decided on something he give it all he'd got to complete the task. He'd felt a great urgency to deliver this project. He'd quickly grown impatient on online activity and he'd wanted to down to the mating business: Put himself out there. On the market; open of offers; thanking all the ladies... 

So a quick field note to insert: Change in approach: 'method of engagements have altered slightly'.

Coffees outdoors it is.!!

                                          Chapter 6: Taking Stock

I need to digress momentarily.

Sociocultural psychology focuses in the main on identifying what is likely shared patterns of behavior among humans. What is common among us.    

Experience is relational yes - emerging as a consequence of two or more people engaging. But is there a uniqueness to how the individual experiences each unfolding moment at the level of the emotional and sensual that is unrepeatable. A sensual - emotional event that is fossilized in time. Who knows, perhaps it may be a combination of the unique and the patterned that emerge and create a entirely holistic experience.

In whatever case it is the question remains how can such fleeting events be captured in a scientific manner. Heretofore there has been limited efforts to explore (or perhaps retrace) aspects of unique human experience within the field of psychology.

A further addition.

I explored the literature on the topic of ' What women want? The search threw up a number of interesting books on the topic. A early research discovery is there is no ownership of the title: 'What women want?' A number of authors attempted to address this topic (or address subtopics within this substantive area). There are fiction and non-fiction books.

A further discovery would be it appears that the male is the one tasked with meeting the wants of the female. Whatever they amount to. The book club tally presents the situation like it's males sole mission in life to figure out the female puzzle: impress, subdue, seduce - make her willingly surrender. Quite traditional...

One title caught my attention. It went into great detail telling the male that the age of chivalry was not dead. That if the male presented with the necessary host of social and emotional qualities he would very likely emerge successful. The female seemed categorized into types. And there was one type seen as favorable and worthwhile having. The chaste female. This classy female is apparently the type most men seek out to settle down with. Time will tell if that moralistic notion holds true.

Just one final point before I get back to the storyline.

My name is Rogers. Jake Rogers. (pseudonym).  I am the study coordinator for The Social Experiment. I am a specialist consultant in the area of sexology. Recently I strayed into the arena of criminology. I have taken a specific interest in how regressive sexual predators operate.  The purpose of the Social Experiment is to develop and test treatments for these regressive types of offenders. To help the experiment along I've gained access to communication networks worldwide. I have the capability of zoning in on target persons for the purpose of listening to conversations and observing every detail of their movement.  

I chose the code name Spider Hazard for the main operative involved in this part of the study. Of course this is not his real name - it's a pseudonym. This study participant was carefully selected. His readiness for participation was decided on based on his previous responses to increased work pressure; and as suspected he'd finally he had a nervous breakdown. He also suffers continual financial stress - to which there seemed no end in sight. These were key factors in the eligibility criteria. It lent this subject much more pliable - more responsive to experimental inputs.
Spider was approached and when offered a reasonable sum of money to become involved in the study, he'd readily agreed to take part. Due to his financial difficulties as was fully suspected he would...

Once recruited he was directed to use the code name Spider whenever he was communicating with the study control center. He was tasked with providing rich descriptive field notes of his thoughts and his emotional and sensory responses to events that happened during his daily field activities.  He was further directed to think like a Spider. Take on the persona of a Spider seeking to trap its prey. He was ordered to dispense with all features of own identity (where possible) for the entire duration of the study.

Total Immersion in the role...

There was some information held back form the field operative. For example: in most cultures Spiders are thought to embody essentially female qualities. And many women have some degree of spider phobia. Nothing like presenting a small challenge for the Spider. This was just to begin with... There was to be more!

                                     Chapter 7: Tangled Web

How is it that the spider isn't ensnared in its own web? That issue was not considered rightly by the spider before setting out his trap.

A grave oversight by The Spider.


I’ve received the first of Hazard’s field notes. He'd reported some operational difficulties. This is what he wrote:

“Jake, I’ve become increasingly vigilant to signs of contact. Sitting quietly in my web it occurred to me I would have difficulty telling between those girls displaying ordinary levels of interest (those friendly flirty types) and those trying to make subtle contact - perhaps breaking the ice a little before they built up enough courage to make a final approach.” 

Doesn’t the mind just boggle...!                

“I’ve had two potential alien sightings to report thus far. The problem is as I’d outlined. I couldn't be fully sure. One sighting happened on Thursday afternoon; the second happened on Friday evening.

Thursday afternoon I was sitting quietly having a coffee alone - in the obvious place. I was easy to find if someone wanted to locate me. As it happened that day was rather chilly and I didn’t really have much enthusiasm for the dating game as I had done on other days. 
This woman in her late forties; she'd passed me by. Right in front of where I was sitting. She had glasses - thick rims. Her face was kind-of smudged right into them. She had a fairly plump face too. Her head was crowned over with a head of thick brown curls stopping just below the ears. She’d only caught my attention mostly because she insisted on holding eye contact for a lot longer than I would have considered usual. I tried looking away a few times too; but she was fairly brazen! 
Jake, the thing that made me more than a little uncomfortable about it all was that she had had a big smirk on her face for the whole time that she passed across in front of me.It may well have been nothing...!
On Friday evening I’d finished with the daytime routine, so I visited at the grocery store to get some bits and pieces. I headed back to where my bicycle was locked against a pole. Suddenly, out of a side street and the darkened evening light emerged this tall black haired woman. Immediately she'd my full attention. Her stride was confident and polished. She reeked of sexiness; Jake...
My type for sure!

Anyway, she'd gotten very close to me and she'd smiled graciously. She'd looked straight at me; full into my eyes. And. And...! In an extremely pleasant manner altogether she'd greeted me with just one single drawn out word. Hellooooo!

Tickles. The delight of it... 

Another thing. There was a person gaining ground on her; a guy in his early to mid-thirties, a bit shorter in stature - perhaps five-six. Not much more. The girl was perhaps nearer to five foot eleven; with heels she'd looked incredibly gorgeous. She'd closely matched my own height. Strange. It  had seemed that the guy was laughing at her antics. I couldn’t help thinking if they weren't a couple. There was the height mismatch. 

Hope dashed!  I encountered her minutes after exiting a loading bay; she was a passenger of a sporty flash car. The short guy was driving and he'd sped right past me. But the little beauty had looked out and smiled broadly in my direction.". 


So there it was. The Spider appeared to have made his first contacts.

I reviewed the tapes that evening to locate the target persons Spider mentioned. This was standard practice - routine. It offered a means to support or discredit his observations. All looked fairly good; Spiders observation skills are highly tuned indeed. The project was up and running.  Operational...!

I contacted the remainder of the team and informed all that the project had gone live...

Spider was unaware there were likely to be many other operatives. He was also unaware what the broader aims of the study were. He'd been provided with a limited amount of information to convince him to take part. Mostly lies.

 Any information relevant to the real study way provided to the team on a need to know basis. Spider had no idea, but he was bait in a social experiment. The online profile he'd submitted I edited some of the finer details to determine if I could arouse some degree of 'social reaction'.

                                                    Chapter 8: Good Governance

Early the next morning I'd retrieved (ahead of schedule) Spider's entries to his electronic dairy - his more personal field notes. What he'd written of how he'd felt: his sensory and emotional experiences to-date. It had been agreed he'd forward these notes to the control center at regular intervals; I'd much preferred to keep on top of events as they happened so I'd decided to create a direct link with spider's electronic notepad, phone etc.  Anything, written (communicated verbally)  immediately dispatched to my office. I'd created a similar discrete link with all operatives working in the field.

So negativity , it had found its way into spider's world. The absence of his lost love had begun to impinge on him. And while the joyfulness of those two earlier encounters had offered some initial distraction - in the darkness of that night his mind ignited with thoughts of her and what he'd lost. He gave away to reminiscing.

" Jake, I'd lay still across the bed. I'd just stared up at the ceiling, and in those moment of drift I'd reached out to where she'd once lay. There was a type of longing for her - for her to be there. I couldn't push the idea of her from my mind.

Eventually I left the bedroom. I turned on the laptop to catch up on some current affairs; my concentration was utterly appalling - there was this sense of restlessness too. Jake, I'd drunk volumes of tea - one cup after another. I craved something sweet. I'd searched everywhere; but to my distress there was noting substantial to hand - just one square of chocolate. I couldn't arouse enough motivation  to venture outside of the apartment.

That night, how it had lingered terribly; I was glad when I'd eventually slept. Finally, it was Saturday."
Having establishing a notable shift in Spider's psychological presentation, I decided to summon a team meeting. Everyone, with the exception of Spider, had been invited to attend.

The details of his case were worked through. It was agreed Spider had descended into a grieving process. All the tell-tail signs were present in his notes. Like the child separated from its abandoning mother he'd too sought proximity to the subject of his affections. Failing to secure proximity he'd then resorted to a type of aimless searching....

Documented in his notes too was that he'd sent a well worded text to the ex-girl-friends phone in a last desperate attempt to establish some line of connectedness. That attempt failed. The next morning when he'd reviewed the text message he'd written on his phone and to see if it had been replied to - there was nothing.

Having recovered composure by noon that day Spider tried to tread the pieces of the night before together. 'What had come over him having sent that text message' he'd wondered. He was so unaccustomed to such displays of weakness; he'd been surprised as much as troubled by what he'd done. 

"what an idiot', he'd thought. 'One stupid text; I'd given away the high ground."  

                                    Chapter 9: The possibility frontier

'Spider missed the intimacy of a woman'.

He’d considered himself to have shown great restraint. There had been just those few innocent kisses after a dance studio; that Latino girl. 'South Americas really had a something going on...’ Spider liked them... They had a type of energy. 
The pair had been flirting madly for a while during dance routines. After class Spider invited her for a drink with him. How easily he’d persuaded her to drive him to her home afterwards. 

It was rather amazing how one kiss had the power to break that spell that had previously bound them. Spider had found her exhilarating right up to the point when they’d finally kissed. In a moment of heated exchange she’d bitten a little into his lip - drawing blood. She was a passionate creature for sure. But something in that moment entirely sobered Spider. This was a familiar experience for him. Like a curse from the dark beyond, she'd transformed and had become so ordinary again - like many others before her.

There was nothing left but those more familiar traits of lust-fulness. In the end he'd not seduced her with any great sense of conviction either. Quiet robotic and frantic an operation overall. Everything took a few minutes (twenty minutes or so). The deed done... Then came the excuses. These were made convincingly before he'd slipped quickly out the doorway as was his usual.

His disappointment clouded him for a while after the event. Similarly too he wanted to avoid her at dance studio. He'd kept his distance until he'd sensed the energy between them had returned to normal. Friends...! 

He'd disliked the emotional tally that often followed such an event. "Being disappointed is one thing, (was Spider's reckoning), but so often there was such a displays; such lack of maturity'. He'd had some awful moments in the past. Tears, heartfelt expressions of disappointment... So often too he'd gotten the cold shoulder treatment for weeks when he'd not stayed connected.
Sunday afternoon Spider went online to check if there were more views. He’d become increasingly popular with the forty something’s. A few thirty something’s signaled interest too. Things were adding up in the virtual world, albeit rather slowly. Spider wondered how long it would take them to show up on the streets. He'd decided at the outset not to reply to anyone directly on line, "let them sweat for a while, he said. If they wanted it bad enough they'd hit the streets and start searching him out. They might even pay for the coffee too if they were really really keen", the notion of Spider getting his coffee paid for him, that sent him into a uncontrollable giggle.


Spider had recovered his old enthusiasm for the bachelor lifestyle again; he'd pushed away any troubling thoughts of his recent losses and had again focused on the project. We'd discussed in detail the weeks plans about where he'd be located for the week ahead and what strategies he'd utilize. On Monday, as agreed, he'd gone about his mission.  This is what happened...!

"It’s Monday....

Jake, wait till I tell you what has happened today.

I was sitting down having coffee alone, the usual spot. It was a nice sunny afternoon. I’d been reading the newspapers on the Amazon Kindle. It had gotten colder; the time was drawing toward 5pm and the streets were bustling with evening activity. People going about their various day to day fixations: it seemed some people were rushing home from work most likely; there were those sharply dressed twenty something’s too - looking the part - exciting.

This one very elegant looking brunette in her late twenties made a lot of effort to catch my attention. She’d a extremely humorous smile on her face when she’d passed by swinging widely what seemed to be a designer label bag in her hand. She’d moved it like it were a magic wand or something. The sunlight, when it reflected on the surface of the bag it caught my attention and I stopped reading to take notice. She was very well dressed, I must tell you. She looked gorgeous. She fitted well with the saying about the one you’d think you’d like to marry but probably can’t afford to keep her. A bit like the story that goes alongside a expensive race horse...! Nevertheless I did consider the fancy bag was held over from last Christmas and was just for show (perhaps she’d saved it and took it around the town occasionally). Maybe it was an old pair of shoes hiding inside or something and she wasn’t really such high maintenance afterall...
Anyway, back to what I was telling... In full tandem with her stride my gaze followed after her down the street. She’d kept looking back smiling delightfully, then she’d slipped around the corner. Eventually she'd disappeared completely out of sight. And, as if by magic, all notions of happy marriage and the like evaporated from my mind.               

 Jake there was one other thing. I realized today I quiet like sitting alone, dreamily watching the world go by. People interest me a lot. It’s like it probably disturbs a silent voyeur within me or something. I hadn’t noticed this before now. I notice others doing it also! Lots of people... It's quiet concerned me really. I hope it isn’t some latent perversion finding expression through this fairly normal and routine type of social activity. People watching! 

I’d heard it said before that most of the darker forces within us only manage to reach the surface in their tamest forms ever. I think it something to do with Sigmund Freud's ideas on how the mind works. Jake perhaps you might offer some direction regarding this matter..." 


Spider was indeed correct. Sigmund Freud (psychoanalyst) became infamous for his theories about human sexuality and the workings of the human mind... His theory, in particular about human defense mechanisms, was significant - among other things. He’d claimed humans had a automatic propensity to censor or edit certain types of information (about themselves or their situations) that was perhaps very pleasant or unpleasant for them. Integration of this type of information  into the conscious awareness mostly occurred overt a extended period of time (rather than there being one moment of rude awakening). 

To use a analogy - if you must eat a elephant, it's best to do it in small manageable chunks. And preferably complete the task over a reasonably long period of time.

This mental blocking activity is thought natural and normal. It supposedly helps people to cope better with their developing selves. Only when this censoring activity becomes pathological (where a person lives in complete bubble of denial and no realisation or growth ever occurs) is it considered to be problematic. Intensive therapy is recommended at that juncture in order to rectify the problem  (and hopefully the problem is resolvable.)

It is mostly warned that over exposure to the truth would likely risk psyche overload... 

But. What if there were a positive outcome to such a rapid psychological awakening. Say parts of the personality (or character of a individual) was so deeply entrenched (and require changing), but the persona refused to shift from the delusional position. Surly flooding the persons consciousness with big chunks of truths might well achieve lasting change? Perhaps any risk to the individual would be worth taking; if only for the good of society...

Yes I here you... It wouldn't be a very pleasant experience for the individual! But. if it were the only pathway to meaningful and lasting change then wouldn't you have to be prepared to at least look at that option. Weigh up the costs and benefits attached to such a intervention. 

So wasn’t it grand for 'The Spider'. So long he’d remained ignorant of the darker battles that raged within the recesses of his troubled mind. Nothing unpleasant reached the surface until it had truly been transformed to a bubble of bliss. So strong were his defenses.

Isn't it delightful how the mind works overtime to protect us from our home truths, We oblivious to the true nature of our hunger - (those suppressed urges.)  

It was all rather pleasant for Spider until those first signs of leakage appeared. Spider’s mind showed signs it was beginning to unravel? He'd begun to see a portion of his truth? One small elephant chunk had been sliced off and perhaps partially digested.

Spider loved to 'People Watch... Observe people...! 


Chapter 10: Deception
Spider had had one other possible encounter. I’d gained that information only when I'd secretly retrieved his personalized notes again.  He'd not mentioned it....

After 'The Bag Lady' slithered around the corner and had gone from sight people familiar to Spider had come along and had sat down at a table next to him. He’d not noticed them for a while – genuine. Nor had they noticed me either it would appear. But as soon as everyone noticed each other they all greeted warmly and it wasn’t too long till they were engrossed in chat about this and that and the other. 

Cultural in the Capital week loomed - that was one major topic for discussion. Spider wasn't aware it was on. When he'd heard he’d been more than keen to know where various events were taking place. 


Spider lived a rather sheltered existence. Cultural stuff of that nature was fairly alien to him. In fact, many things never caught his imagination as a child (or as an adolescent either for that matter). He’d remained rather preoccupied with the pursuit of females. 

Spider has a strange quirk to his personality too. He occupied little universes of his own making. And he rarely ever drifted very far from familiar terrain. Little routines...

Spider oscillated between life's center stage - he loved attention from women mostly. Then following a conquest he'd shift gear drastically and drift to the peripheral of the life world. He'd inhabit one of his universes for a while. When under significant stress he’d avoid all major events. He'd sit somewhere in the background and mostly in silence. 

His own version of the Man Cave most probably! On these trouble days he’d like to watch on mostly. Observe...

Spider had begun to display obvious signs of personality change. 

Firstly, he'd wanted to seek out all sorts of distractions: shift geographical location; new relationships; new job; new cloths...  Secretly, I'd thwarted and blocked his inclinations towards such escapes. Spider was totally unaware of my backstage efforts to undermine him at every turn. Just as I predicted (and as a consequence of my input)  he’d finally showed signs of instability. A drift towards the safety of his parallel universe.... That was his pattern. 

He’d begun to research strange topics; he'd become obsessed with things that had never really interested him before. Of all things to become interested in he’d take a opinion on the Irish economy. He grew in curiosity about how financial markets operated. To add to all this strangeness he'd started to study economics. Online too. 


During the weekly supervision session with Spider he'd attempted to show he'd maintained a positive mind-set. He stated that he'd considered himself to have stayed fairly level headed. But there were things he hadn't disclosed. I'd found entries in his personal diary that certainly placed a question over Spider's version of events. 

One particular entry stated something otherwise: ‘I do feel different somehow, it’s all begun to feel quite strange lately’.

Chapter 11: A Strange Affair

'There comes a time when you look around and you see the Ocean waiting for your eyes showing no surprise.
 Make your way down to the Shore you climb aboard - give yourself a smile it makes you feel alive... 

Then all the doors swing open your life's unfolding before your very eyes such a strange affair.

On occasion a couple of lines in a song can speak volumes of truth.

Perhaps it evokes a sense of knowing - for good or bad. Perhaps there is a realization. This then drives and motivates us to dig in deep. It makes us try even harder to achieve our desired goals. On the other hand there may come a sense of clarity. The realization that much of the efforts and disappointments of our past will serve us well in the future. That realization for change grows powerful. The force drives within us...

The lyrics of that old Stocktons Wing song touched something deep within Spider. As he sat staring pensively ahead of him he remained unaware the words of that song were yet to define much of what lay ahead of him.

(If you would like to read more of the events of this experiment. Please indicate your preference in the comment box)