Let’s Talk About Ants
Because lately, my life is a constant war with them. My forces may be stronger, but their militia is far more abundant. If I leave so much as a crumb on the countertop they swarm in by the thousands.
Two nights ago my partner had toast before going to bed. He threw the wrapper of a block of butter into the garbage, and left a trace of crumbs on the counter along with the butter dish. When I walked into the kitchen the next morning I was faced with a battlezone. They were marching in rows twenty strong, under the screen door and up the side of the garbage can just to get the remnants of butter off the wrapper that sat at the top of the bin. On the counter they amassed in hoards. A mountain of ants toppling over one another with (I assume) a crumb underneath.
I spent the next, who knows how long, cleaning every surface. I wiped up the ants with a fell swoop of my dishrag and rinsed them into the drain with the hottest water my tap would produce, hoping that if they didn’t drown they would burn to death in the drains. The butter dish was a moving black mass of ants with traces of white underneath – I rinsed off the lid as hundreds of escapees ran up my arms until I washed them away too. I picked the stragglers out of the butter as they struggled like soldiers in quicksand.
After the clean I hastened to lay down the ant sand in every crevice I suspected they could invade. I even swept a few into it to test its effectiveness and watched them scramble to get out of it.
Lastly I grabbed the kettle and emptied the water along with the drowned carcasses of ants; yes they get in the water and yes I have poured them into my tea or coffee for an unpleasant surprise.
When all was done only the toaster remained on the counter. I peered inside of it wondering why I had never seen any ants in there, the thing is full of crumbs after all. I thought, maybe they don’t go in the toaster because at some point some ants had been in there when the toaster was turned on, and now whenever the ants come near it they smell the burned corpses that line the bottom. My toaster is an ant graveyard. It’s even shaped like a tombstone…
Okay, you might be thinking at this point that I am a twisted sadistic psychopath with a lust for killing ants. Well, that may be partially true, but I wasn’t always this way. When we first moved into this house I would cringe if I had to kill just one. I had sprayed a cockroach with the killing spray (I don’t know what it’s called) and felt bad about it for two days. I still kind of feel bad about it now; the thing writhed in pain for a good 40 minutes. But as far as ants go enough is enough. They’ve had their fill of my kitchen and my food, and I’ve had my fill of them (literally, yuck), so they’ve got to go, even if their are some casualties in the process.
Unfortunately I walked into my kitchen this morning to find my partner decided to have toast again last night…
The World Through a Writer’s Lens
What sparked my inspiration to write this little narrative, was when I peered into the toaster. I really did think to myself those lines about the burnt ant corpses. Which brings me to my little tidbit of advice in this piece. That little voice inside your head that comments on your daily life – make that the voice that comes out in your writing. When you experience things think of how you would write them. If you have an impeccable vocabulary when you are writing, try to use those words in your thoughts too, and maybe even eventually in your speech. Not only will this help you think of ideas for your writing, it will also give your writing a distinctive and natural voice.
I may follow up this post tomorrow with a small list of writing prompts based on the thoughts I have today. And I would be very interested to hear about any experiences you have had in the past, or today, which you viewed from a writer’s perspective! Let me know in the comments.
As always, Happy Writing! xx