A ceiling turned to sky

I was in my old bedroom this morning – I’ve been dreaming about my house a lot lately, the one we no longer have in California. I suppose we want to return to the places we can’t ever go again. The places, the people we’ve lost haunt us.
My mom and I drove by once, circling the house’s face and not stopping, knowing we could never enter it again as our home and seeing stranger’s shadows through the window. We hoped they deserved it – the warm light branching across the hardwood, the pops and creaks of its skeleton at night cooling from 100 degree summer days. Have they memorized the light switches? Have they painted over the closet door’s chicken scratch marking our growth. “We should take the door,” my mom said the last day we were there, the house empty, it was the last sign we had been there. “You can’t take a door,” I said, but maybe it was worth trying.
But I go back in dreams a lot and last night in my empty bedroom, I stared at a ceiling covered with elegant spiders. Spindle legs, yellow bodies, diamonds etched into their plump abdomens – their presence terrified me. some were dead, their dry-grass legs plastered to the wall. Others fell from high points in the ceiling exactly where I had been sleeping a few minutes before, scuttling to other hiding spaces. They had to die. All of them. I couldn’t sleep or move knowing they were raining down and crawling in my open mouth at night. A vacuum appeared and I sucked them up one by one web included. I hunted them on the floor, the walls, the nooks of the cathedral ceilings. I hunted them until it was dark and I couldn’t see anymore. The ceiling just kept going, towering above me. I began to panic that I couldn’t reach them all no matter how hard I stretched my body, no matter how long the hose was, the angled attachments. I worked so long in darkness that the sun began to rise and suddenly the ceiling turned to sky- mottled blue and white and like the stars hidden in daylight – the spiders disappeared until the only thing I saw above me was open, endless blue.

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