Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Downstairs in the living room there were aquarium parts strewn about. Wires, hoses, buckets. I spent last night cleaning them up, and this morning I went downstairs and there were still wires, hoses and buckets everywhere. The kitchen sink is half full of barnacled pumps, skimmers, and PVC joints. I poured myself a cup of coffee and looked outside: still more aquarium detritus. What a hobby.

I don't think that's what's getting to me today, though. Beyond the patio and its buckets and tanks, out in the distance toward the fence, there are piles of gardening supplies, piles of old fence, piles of redwood cutoffs, and piles of dirt, rocks, sawdust. I should probably get out there and clean that mess up, but my tools are under all the aluminum in the garage. And there's no time. All the adults are busy around here picking up the toys.

And then yesterday, Mrs. Ditchman said she couldn't take the boxes in the bedroom anymore. I'm not sure I can either. Last spring I moved everything out of the guest bedroom to begin work on that remodel, and now it languishes. Our bedroom is piled high with boxes of stuff, much of it old photos and keepsakes, and when I went through it all for my mom's 70th, the mess got bigger.

And half of it was dragged in to the office here, where boxes of tax documents vie for space betwixt old computers and business supplies. I dredged up all the computer stuff recently, too, with my Mac breaking down, so there are more wires. If I had ever gotten around to putting together those filing cabinets way back when, perhaps some of the problem would have been alleviated, but it wouldn't have stopped the ants.

The ants keep coming. I kill and kill but they just don't get the message. Sometimes I feel them crawling on my arms and legs, but when I look there, there aren't any. Sometimes I'll be sitting on the couch and I'll look down to see an ant carrying the corpse of another ant across the coffee table. Where's he taking it? What's the point of that, ant?

I suppose I envy the ants and their disciplined, organized, system that is unstoppable in its multitudes, but the ants remain incomprehensible in their motives. Survival, I guess. This we have in common, and we're both winning, but they bug me. And I don't seem to be bothering them at all.