this is an old, old story – posted to an egroup i used to belong to, then on the old green/purple version of surreally, and then just reading about a a few ants here and there, somehow brought all this back.
look – i used to do capital letters. huh.
I have just had a uniquely horrifying experience, which I have decided to share with you all since I’m not going to sleep any time soon. I’m sitting in my kitchen, hyperventilating, my eyes burning, with my trusty spray bottle of about 1/3 bleach with water close by, just in case. I was tired, ready to go to bed, & then there they were. Thousands & thousands of them. In my bed, where my son had been eating rather messily, & they had found it. Ants.
I have a pretty serious insect phobia. In fact, I have made considerable progress, because I can deal with random ants here & there, pick ’em up, squish em, roll ’em off my fingertips…but this swarming horde set off what can only be described as a violent panic attack. I don’t have bug spray, because this ant thing has been going on in a mildly annoying way now for a very short time. Most household cleaners work just as well, but the only bottle I had left had perhaps an ounce or 2 left, & that was gone in minutes. So I grabbed the Clorox, poured it into the sprayer, & filled the rest with water, & then I got medieval on their…asses? thoraxes? whatever. I wadded up the sheet, filled with little creepy critters, & rushed to the bathroom, tossed it in the shower & soaked it. I sprayed everywhere. To hell with the carpet & furniture, besides, it doesn’t look so bad, considering that most everything was already extremely dirty, the kind of dirt perpetrated by 2 year old boys…what’s a few random spray patterns of bleach spots? I sprayed all around the bed, then found I could no longer walk on the floor because it felt so creepy, so I found a pair of sandals in my daughters room & proceeded to thoroughly bleach everything that could be considered even remotely appealing to an insect.
So there I was – exhibiting significant psychotic symptoms, blurting out expressions of alarm & breathing loud & fast, every inch of my skin just crawling with phantom pests. My eyes watering copiously from the bleach fumes, my bronchial passages clenching in the toxic atmosphere, I kept on pumping that sprayer trigger until my knuckles started locking up.
This all started around midnight, which was already way past my bedtime, I have to pick up my daughter at 6AM. It’s 1:30 now, & the adrenaline buzz is just barely winding down, & I’m going to be such a zombie tomorrow, but practical considerations like adequate rest cannot compete with the image of an army of leggy little bitty things surging across my sheets…had I gone to bed at a reasonable hour, I might not have seen where my little guy spilled his juice & got cookie crumbs on the corner of the bed…& that swarm would have had to cross me to get to the goodies…I would have woken up covered in ants, & I never ever would have stopped itching, ever.
Well, I am going to go do a little more spraying & lie down; at some point this crushing tiredness will overcome my anxious vigilance, & I will get at least a little rest; at least I hope this is possible, because I have school in the morning & a Microsoft seminar in the afternoon, & it’s a quarter to two AM…