Typically, I don’t worry about ants because there is no food in my house, but after recent rains it didn’t seem to matter. Ants flocked to my house like I was hosting a world summit.
There were ants in my cupboard, ants in my sink, ants in the pants in my closet. There were ants in places you can’t even fit an ant. One of them managed her way into an unopened bottle of Arrowhead. Houdini Ant.
It would be one thing if I could say, “Okay, break it up” and point them to the door, but you just can’t reason with an ant. It’s like being invaded by dirt. So it goes.
I couldn’t face the crisis without caffeine. I reached for the coffeemaker and found the handle covered with ants. The coffeemaker! Is nothing sacred?
I came to detest those insects with an enthusiasm generally reserved for procreation and public lynchings.
The first step was to make an example of the reconnaissance ant wherever I found her. Instead of thumbing her to death as I once did, I took my time to break her hind legs and leave her to spin in circles, cursing the heavens in her tiny rogue tongue. I knew the others could hear it. They’re always nearby. I wanted to get down there and insult the queen while I was at it.
In the coffeemaker!
Next, I needed weapons. Chemical warfare. I drove to Home Depot, where a man told me to clog the ants’ entrance point with boric acid.
As much as I distrust a man wearing an apron, I asked, “What does that do?”
“The tiny granules rip the exoskeleton from the ants’ bodies.”
“Excellent. Give me twice as much as I need.”
The only problem was that I couldn’t find a single entrance point. These ants were in a frenzy. They were infiltrating my home through crevices I didn’t know I had. Some dropped from the ceiling like Navy Seals. By the end of the day, my house was encircled by a moat of boric acid.
But they just kept coming.
To this moment, a never-ending stream of ants pours into my home, immune to anticides, in search of nothing but my sanity. No sooner can I wipe up one pile of exoskeletons than another appears in its place. Every morning I step into the shower to find a ring of dead ants around the drain. What do they want from me?
My home is sealed and sprayed and powdered and trapped. Yet they come. From all over the world. To die in my bathtub.
As you might imagine, I’ve acquired a case of the willies that is beyond the reach of tequilla. Shopping at the mall last week, I was seized by an impulse to take off my skin and scratch my bones. There are nights I wake up in a cold sweat, suffocating in a cloud of Raid.
I write only to warn you against my fate. I myself cannot be saved. I cower in the corner with my friend, Mr. Cuervo, ready to burn down my own house if only to hear the gratifying squeal of ants dying alongside me.