Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Hardly Knew Ye

They don't seem to be gathering any sort of food, but who's to say, since it isn't as if ants carry grocery bags. I wonder if maybe something happened to their old house, maybe a boot stomped in, or ant poison, or a hose flooded them out. It's hard to really know, since ants don't use suitcases or packing boxes any more than they use grocery bags. I'm trying to decide whether I should start by following them to where they are going, or start by following where they are coming from. I wish there were two of me, that I could go both directions at once, not for the first time.

Since I've seen plenty of ant hills, and plenty of ant hills stomped in by boots (sometimes mine, when I was playing wrath of god), and plenty of ant hills covered in poison (sometimes I'd dusted them with a box of baking soda and then poured over the white vinegar from under the sink, making a real, live, exploding Vesuvius, and all the escaping ants were the residents of Pompeii running for their lives), and plenty of ant hills flooded by hoses (sometimes by me, when I was reenacting Noah and the flood and I'd been forbidden from going "anywhere near the sandbox, ever again, ever"), anyway, I knew where the ants probably came from, but I had no idea where they were going. So I followed them that way.

It was easy to see them on the sidewalk, their little black bodies all in a row, but when they crossed over into the grass, they were hidden by the blades and the clover, even though the lawn mower had just come through yesterday. I wondered if maybe the blades of grass were to the ants like forests were to us. And then I wondered if forests were to ants like solar systems were to us. And then I wondered if maybe we were just like ants in somebody else's solar system, and things like earthquakes and volcanoes and shooting stars were just some little kid being bored and playing with our home just to watch the ruckus. I didn't like that idea very much, it made my head hurt, so instead I got down on my belly to try and see the path the ants were taking through the grass.