Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Warrior Maiden

Last night, when I should have been going to bed, I noticed that a band of ants have invaded my apartment, specifically the baseboard between the bathroom and the den. An entirely separate, if smaller, division has besieged my front door.

I'm normally a pacifist. I'm normally the kind of girl who uses a cup and an index card to "rescue" bugs that have bumbled into my apartment and release them outside. But that's when I can afford to be benevolent. The balance of power here is far too wobbly. I am strong, but they are many. And they are hard to kill.

I started squishing them in bits of paper, only to find they don't squish easily. I had to either squish really hard (Crunch. Gross.) or hold on tight until I could drown them in the toilet. I did in dozens this way. Then I rubbed down the baseboard with vinegar and sprinkled a line of cinnamon. It's possible I didn't use enough -- vinegar and cinnamon are precious resources after all -- but they don't seem to care.

And did I mention they have allies? Fruit flies. I couldn't spread myself too thin and fight both fronts, so I set a trap for them: a crushed strawberry floating in vinegar, Sierra Mist (no, I don't buy it on a regular basis), sweet vermouth, and a couple of drops of dish soap. So far, so good.

Frustrated by the ants' persistence, I found myself taunting them as I squished them, "What did you think was going to happen? Hm? Didn't you notice your friends who came out here never came back?" I often apologized, "I'm sorry, guys. It's terrible, but you can't just invade and expect to be welcomed," but I showed no mercy.

Around this time, oh, maybe forty-five minutes into my defense, and well past my bedtime, I imagined myself as a warrior maiden -- Celtic, of course -- with blue painted whorls on my face, and maybe, a staff that shoots lightning . . .

I'm both pleased and embarrassed by this image, as I am by so many things that pop into my head. I've called a temporary truce with the ants so I can get some writing done, but they will not win this day.


taipalmgren said...

Dear Rachel,

You are a super nerd.


Mikey said...

The Buddha sheds a tear for your efforts.