Before my sister set poison, our townhouse was crawling with ants. Set out a cup with residual soda in it and minutes later, there are ants crawling all over it. Set out a cup of water, and minutes later, all the ants in the vicinity have decided to go swimming. And just because the ants are floating still on top of the water does not mean that they’re dead.
I kinda miss them.
Ants would crawl around on my desk. During my morose, listless moods, I would sprinkle bread crumbs across my desk and watch the ants lug the crumbs around in their orderly little lines. Sometimes, there would be an ant crawling on the page I was reading, and when I needed to turn the page, I would have an unholy need to slam the book on the ant, but I never gave into my killer instinct, and more often than not, I would not turn the page and just reread, which is not a bad option if the book is good and I want to linger on the anticipation.
Sometimes, (well, quite a few times really) I would carry a few ants around in my bag. I would take my books out during class or at work and see the ant crawl out and crawl across the table. Now, when ants are a common sight to you, and you are so used to being friendly to them for so long, you can forget that squishing ants is an automatic human habit. At work one day, after I reached into my bag to get a pen, and saw an ant crawling along the length of it, I placed it gently on the table—on the table where two other tutors (I tutor) were sitting too. I set it gently down and thought—how about you go play while I finish writing this sentence. The ant crawled across my paper and I gently brushed it toward the center of the table, thinking—no, no, honey, go play. A few seconds later, I see the tutor across from me slam down her hand really hard and sweep it quickly off the table. I said (or yelled quietly, since this was the library)—Noo!! You killer! You killed my ant! I explained, but I guess my explanation sounded a little crazy, because she felt no remorse.
Sometime, when I get annoyed, I flick the ant away, and imagine the ant flying away on wings of glory. My sister, in her ant-killing craze, would stand next to my desk and squish my ants. No! I usually cry in alarm, My desk is an island of refuge! Get your killer hands away!!
Ants aren’t bad. They bite, but—this sounds gross, but it works—I lick the bite and it disappears in a few hours. It really works. For mosquito bites too. Hey, cats and dogs and other animals with tongues lick themselves better. Why can’t Homo sapiens? I’m not stupid enough to lick myself if I have a gun shot wound, but for bites, there’s no harm in licking myself better.
I need to go steal some ants from an ant hill, because our townhouse is sadly ant-free right now.