Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream

If you have a queasy stomach, you probably should not read this...

Perchance to mess with reality.  But what if reality starts messing with you?

After coming home from a late day at work, I started to notice something wrong about our kitchen.  Ants, again, had crawled into our pretzels, over our crackers, found the little, tiny hole in the saltines container.  They were small, a light tan brown, that almost look like little moving crumbs.  If they weren't so easily multiplied, and if they didn't desire the same things I like (salty, savory food) maybe, just maybe, I'd be more entitled to let them live.  But when all is said and done, you have to bust out the can of ant killer, forget your morals, and protect your property from this seemingly small infestation.

What I found last night baffled me - it wasn't a seemingly small infestation anymore.  They had made homes in between the boards of our cupboards, nested on the roofs of our cabinets, and made little happy and trails all along each seam in our kitchen.  One area looked like a New York subway system.  I couldn't help but be fascinated by them for just one moment - how did they move around each other with such fluidity?  They look like such awkward creatures, but they never hit each other, even if there's 10 of them in a square centimeter.  They pass each other by with different lanes of traffic, and they know, without anyone painting down lines, how to keep their distance from each other.  So, I blasted them with ant killer and called it a day.

My dreams that night almost seemed so real, and I swear they were.  I woke up at one point wearing my necklace, and another having it off.  I take off my necklace every night, so I realized that I had awoken into a dream, but much too late.  My reality came bearing down on me - ants poured out of our cupboards, eating our food like a flock of locusts before moving onto me.  They crawled on my toes, around my ankles, and I felt itchy as they pierced and pinched my body.  The dream shifted into an even worse nightmare and I woke up again, without my necklace, and realized that I wasn't dead.  My husband was still asleep next to me, I hadn't just gotten eaten by ants and thrown off a cliff (how the cliff came into play, I could never tell you).

I walked into the bathroom, tired, sleepy, feeling a little off.  There was something pinching my eye.  It felt like I had been wearing contacts that got a little sliver of dirt pressed underneath them.  I looked into the mirror, staring into my red, puffy right eye.  A few veins were prominently heading towards my cornea, the red part of my eye was huge, inflamed.  And at the center of it all, on the farthest possible right hand side, was a little crumb.  No, not a crumb.  An ant, coiled around itself, dead.  I flushed my eye with water, doused it with saline solution, I put re-wetting drops in it, and not a thing dislodged this crumb.  I have to be dreaming, I told myself, this has to be a dream.  I used a cotton swab and swiped at it, my eye stung more and the coiled little sugar ant didn't move.  Finally, I washed my fingertips in saline solution and used my fingernails on my eye.  I scratched lightly at the surface.  The ant, in his last effort to stay alive, had attached himself to my eyeball in a little, piercing bite.  Was this my punishment for killing their colony?  For massive ant genocide?  Was there really even karma for that?  Did ants have karma?  Hot, frustrated tears rolled down my face - I pleaded with the ant inside my head, please, please just come out...

Yes, this actually happened to me last night - yes, it was horrible.  I went into a hysterical panic, started crying, woke up my poor, sleep-deprived husband, and it finally came out on its own - mostly because of all the frustrated tears.  It was the smallest, little thing I've seen before - but anyone that wears contacts knows what it feels like to have something underneath them - and yes, it hurts.