My mother told me horror stories about cleaning the kitchen window yesterday, and I saw her pile of blackened paper towels, but it wasn't until today that I learned the TRUE horror of a filthy window.
Since we're in for some cold and blustery days this week, I decided it was time to remove the air conditioner from my new bedroom. I figured that the hardest thing would be...well, just removing the air conditioner, which I knew would be heavy and which -- as is the nature of air conditioners everywhere -- had been installed in an individualistic and unorthodox manner.
After unscrewing the wooden platform and ripping off the electrical tape, I started pulling the air conditioner out...and spiders ran EVERYWHERE. Little tiny spiders the size of pin-pricks, monstrous pea-sized ones, and all sizes in-between...black, gray, transparent, ZOOM! All of them running for cover as I stood, helpless, with the air conditioner in my hands.
So I got Windex and paper towels and started scrubbing every groove and platform in the window. Everywhere I looked: spiders. DOZENS of them. I'd spray Windex in a corner, and three or four more spiders would run out. Crush-crush-crush!
And not just that...the MOULD. At least a decade of thick, black gunge in the corners, mixed with countless splats of flyshit and the corpses of long-forgotten flies. Under the eaves-troughs: dangling webs, more spiders. On the outsides of the windows: thick strands both new and old.
I thought I'd seen it all, and then I tackled the upper corner, which I thought was crammed with insulation to fill in the gap around the air conditioner. But Jesus, no, I don't even know WHAT it was: a solid black crud, an inch thick and several inches deep, which crumbled under my touch to reveal insect husks, spider legs, opaque membranes the size of peanut shells. This was ALIEN. IT SIMPLY COULD NOT BE.
And then the big-daddy spider came rushing out of some hidden cranny, fat-bellied, an inch long, waving at me. I sprayed him with Windex, he went down, he came back, I sprayed again, drowning him, but still he shuddered and spun until...well, I picked up a piece of the air conditioner and knocked him out into the air.
I think he's still alive. Tonight...close your windows.
So why are there so many spiders? Maybe because the previous owners just never cleaned the windows...but I never cleaned MY windows either, and nothing even CLOSE to that ever happened.
Strangely, all the spiders seem to be on the windows on the western side of the building, so either they never cleaned those ones or there's some natural phenomenon involved. Maybe mould grows on that side, which attracts insects, which attracts spiders...
Either way I thank goodness that I haven't found any spiders INSIDE the apartment. Yet.