I have an unresolved vengeance for ants.
I don’t want to get into it, but let’s just say I’ve seen some things I can never unsee. I was eleven years old and the image burned into my memory, fueling my hatred like a young star ready to endure for billions of years, until it goes out with a bang, destroying everything in its path.
Okay, since I was so dramatic about that, I’ll tell you what it was: we had an ant infestation when I was a child and the pinnacle of the catastrophe was a syrup bottle swarming with ants. My brother cried at the horror. I didn’t feel safe for weeks.
Anyway, the ants were eventually abolished, but ever since, I have harbored a fiery contempt for their kind.
Now I live at my own place, a quaint apartment on the fourth floor of an old building across from campus. Last fall when we moved in, I was pleased that pests were minimal. This spring, I have been wronged.
First it was one stray ant, crawling near the hallway wall, killed on sight. I was irritated, but it seemed an isolated incident. Then another one, a few weeks later, on the carpet, wandering as if some sort of drifter; also killed on sight.
Pan to last Saturday: a trio of ants, aimlessly crawling on the wall with the air conditioning unit by the balcony door. Three of them… Three is a party. I don’t condone ant parties. So Sunday I did my research, consulting my father (who is a war veteran of ants) and he shared his research with me.
Monday morning, they had come back in numbers. A gang of ants on that stupid wall with the AC unit again (I don’t understand why they’re so infatuated with that wall; there is no food whatsoever on that flat, glossy-painted wall), and a number of them along the sliding door track. The Kill Bill sirens went off, and my vision flashed red.
So I bought some ant traps, “liquid baits.” The package gives me hope. “Liquid Ant Baits are specifically designed to allow worker ants to consume the product and survive long enough to carry the liquid back to the nest and deliver a dose to the rest of the colony.” I rub my hands maniacally together as I consider these facts.
I have deployed six of them in strategic locations around the kitchen and balcony door. This morning, the ant traps seemed untouched. “Maybe that’s all it took,” my naive but well-meaning boyfriend commented. Little did he know…
It’s the evening as I write this, a damp post-rain day. I was studying for micro (very pathetically and half-heartedly) when I left my room to open the fridge, stare blankly, and return to my room, but on my way, the black dots on the wall caught my eye– they’re back. Back in a battalion, hanging out like thugs by the balcony door, a few of them trailing to the kitchen. I look upon them with disgust.
But they are taking the bait. A few of them, feeling cocky and pleased with themselves for finding a substance so sweet and readily available. They feast like fat imbeciles. Yes… Very good… I am pleased. Take the ant poison back to your families, you bastards. Kill your mothers, aunts, children, cousins… Cause your own demise, you greedy filth.
I must put up reminders around the apartment not to kill the ants, because if you kill them, they cannot convey the deadly substance to their peers. I have planted sticky notes around the living room and kitchen, and they read: “A thing to remember: Do NOT kill the ants; only feel a passionate hatred for them. Fun substitutes to killing them: Glare at them, heckle them, fantasize about them excitedly returning to their neighborhoods with death food.”
They are such free-loading scum, feeding off humans’ careless scraps. They ought to go out and get a job and buy groceries like the rest of us, instead of mooching off strangers’ food when they aren’t looking. But I’ll teach them a lesson…
My loved ones are demonstrating concern for my health; they think I’m being hysterical about the whole situation. They think I’m letting it affect me too much. Personally, I don’t see it. I am simply reacting with a logical, level-headed, hate-fueled response. If I were truly crazy, I would have dreams about ants, and that has not quite happened yet.
However, my hysterics are paying off, because I am seeing less of them around the apartment. They are very excited about the poison, but they are dwindling… This is good.
Every night after work, I go home to my ants. We live among each other, in total hatred. I admit I am blatantly rude to them, but they have crossed a line– that line being the balcony doorway. Once I saw one in my bedroom on the wall, and I flushed it so it couldn’t be traced by its family. I broke down afterwards– the living room, all right; the kitchen, to be expected; but my bedroom? Where I sleep and surf Facebook? How dare he. The atrocity, I couldn’t bear. I have not seen one in my bedroom since then. Perhaps the ants caught wind of my wrath.
I am merely glad that ants are not resourceful enough to read, because I left the box for the ant traps on our kitchen table for convenient reference. It has become my Bible. I live and pray by the Ant Trap Box; it is my orange and blue salvation, and I gain encouragement from its cheesy illustrated ants.
This is my life as it stands at this moment. I will continue these logs following more developments in this epic ant saga.
To be continued…