Confessions of a Woman Gone Mad: Ants

Wednesday June 17th 9:30am:
In the bathroom while brushing my teeth, a little black ant circles the soap dispenser. How did it get in? I walk over to the window to the right above the toilet. No draft or hole. No other ants. Back at the sink, I spit, rinse, flick the light off and walk into the kitchen.

Saturday June 20th 6:00am:
I jump out of the shower and dry off. I dress for work, place the towel on the hook, and then reach into the whicker caddy beside the sink for my deodorant. A little black ant is crawling up the side of it. I let it crawl onto my finger, and then gently place it down against the counter. The ant walks along my finger over to his friends hanging around the faucet.

Monday June 29th 11:48 pm:
Jared places his book down on the nightstand, squeezes my hand, then rolls onto his side of the bed mumbling, “We have to do something about those ants. They’re piling up.”
I know he is probably right as I go to tug the chain on the lamp off, noticing a tiny ant crawling onto my phone.

I wake to a thump and a shout. It’s Jared. I turn the light on, and watch as he grabs an ant from his cheek and squeezes it dead between his two fingers. I gasp. He groans. He falls back asleep. I lay awake the rest of the night, tossing and turning.

Tuesday June 30th 10:30am:
They’ve spread from the sink to the bathtub – a total of twenty-two. I phoned my mom and she gave me an “at home” remedy to make them go away for good. Something about baking soda and sugar. She told me to mix it together in a bowl and place it beside them. The ants will be drawn to the sweets, eat it, then crawl back to their nest and die.

11:16 am:
I drive to the hardware store and buy a roll of white masking tape. It takes an hour for me to seal the sides of all five windows in the apartment – inside and out. Maybe that’ll do it. Back in the bathroom, I collect the ants in a red plastic cup, and place it outside, shaded by a plant in the dirt. I dust my hands off, then run a vacuum over Jared’s side of the bed. The vacuum makes a tiny popping sound as it sucks last night’s dead ant up. I say a little prayer in my head.

Sunday July 12th 9:04 am:
We are cruising on a boat to the Glass Island of Murano. The morning shines a pearly light. The air is ripe with salt and ahhh the breeze! As we sweep through the choppy waters of Venice, I think of the ants. Have they found a new home? Or, have they made there way back into ours?

Friday July 24th 7:30 pm:
We just got in. Jared sighed at the sight of them while washing his hands after taking a leak. I peaked through the door, a smile tugging at the corners of my lips.

Saturday July 25th 3:30 pm:
While I was at work, Jared placed ant traps all around the house.

4:07 pm:
Quickly, while he was showering, I sealed the openings of the traps with clear masking tape. Not even a flea could poke its way through.

Thursday July 30th 8:15 pm:
I soak in a hot bath after a long day of work. Placing my feet under the faucet, I let the water filter over my toes, watching Colonel Clutter, Princess Bala, Muffy, Grebs, and the rest scurry up the clammy tile wall. I reach for the soap. Just as I’m about to use it, I notice an ant stamped like a fossil on the reverse side. I run the bar under the faucet until the pressure frees the little bugger. I lay back against the tub, it’s tiny black corpse floating beside me.

Saturday August 1st 2:23 pm:
The front door was wide open when I walked in from work. All the windows were drawn up. Jared was airing out the apartment.
“The ant traps weren’t working,” he said, greeting me at the door with a mask over his face. A can of Raid in his hands.

2:24 pm:
I ran into the bathroom. They’re gone. All of them! I dashed into the bedroom and locked the door behind me.

Monday August 3rd 8:06 am:
As soon as Jared left for work, I jumped from the bed, ran into the kitchen, grabbed a red plastic cup from the cupboard and filled it with sugar. I went outside to scour the grounds. I found a whole bunch in the neighbor’s garden under a berry bush.

8:35 am:
I lay the cup in the sink beside a damp paper towel smothered in sugar. The ants came piling out. I dunk more paper towel in water and sugar and place it along the perimeter of the bathtub.

12:10 pm:
Sixty-three ants total. I sat on the ledge of the tub and let the little buggers crawl onto my fingers. “You’re home now. You’re safe,” I said, as their tiny feet tickle my skin.