A solitary, tiny brown ant never bothered me. Even four or five.
After my husband entered his slow-motion, black-and-white dreams, I indulged my night-owl tendencies. When my blurred eyes could no longer see the words on the laptop screen, I stumbled into the bathroom. A flick of the switch, and a few ants skittered across the floor.
I tolerated the ants at first, but then they multiplied. Each night, I crawled around the cold, tile floor, mashing them with the pad of my thumb. So small they didn’t even warrant a barrier between my finger and their broken bodies. Down the drain they went, swirling out of sight with the soap suds.
A week later I walked to work, sunlight inducing dizziness and euphoria. My oblivious foot almost stepped on a dead bullfrog—its bloated body, barely discernable, covered with tiny, brown ants.
Filled with rage and violence, I wanted to strike them with my foot, scatter the parasites across the cracked pavement.
Collected together, a teeming mass of shiny exoskeletons moving as one, an intimacy that frightened me.