Ants In My Pants

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1.

Outside my home, life is passing by. There are students on bikes with heavy backpacks filled with books. There are buses filled with pedestrians and cars filed with five-day-work-week commuters. Trucks, vans, government vehicles are all making their way through the intersection of life, that sits just outside my door. Inside my home, there are ants. Billions of ants that cannot be defeated no matter how hard I try. There are ants in the cupboard board, ants in the stove, ants in the bathtub, ants in the couch, ants in the bed and ants in my pants.


I have always been adamantly averse to killing any living thing. I preached to others the virtues of sparing a life- even if it was only a moth, mosquito, fly or spider. I have often heard myself compared to the Jains, who are members of an ancient Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence for all forms of living beings in this world. Whether you want to call it your karma or your luck I believed that if you took another living creatures life it would eventually reflect back upon your life in a negative way. Besides, I felt better when I let a fly, spider, mosquito or moth go free. I had the power to take its life but instead I made a more noble choice to let it be. Somehow this made me feel like I would be rewarded by the Gods who would appreciate me for all the lives that I had saved. Instead, what I have received for my virtuous acts is a home infested with little black ants.


I have been killing ants with the fervor of a Nazi. I have become convinced that all ants must die because they are polluting the sanctity of my home.  Not only is it unhygienic to live in a home with billions of black ants but it is also one of the most frustrating annoyances to constantly find then running across your arms and legs, through your hair and sometimes into your eyes and mouth. I find ants in my food and between my toes. They have made their way into my books, into my pillows and onto my toothbrushes- they are polluting my entire life, so I had no choice but to induce a full-blown fight.


I spend hours a day waging war against these annoying creatures. The ones that I can see with my naked eye are only a half of the entire gang that is infesting my home. They lodge in the ceiling and underneath the house- but it is my hope that by killing all the ants that I can see I will send a loud message to the other ants that are below ground and in the roof of my house that I am not fucking around.  I have spent over a hundred dollars on non-toxic ant spray, which I use excessively. I spray it like a hose, all through out the day, wherever I see ants congregating together. I whack them with brooms, flood them out with water, wipe them up with wet rags and have even thrown burning paper on a few. I like to watch them suffer, and when I am done with what can only be compared to waging genocide- I like to walk around and look at the piles and piles of dead ants. I know that this is a war that cannot be won- but at least I can do my part to get some sweet revenge.


2.

This morning I had a job interview. I put on one of my favorite suits and made sure that I looked just right. I shaved, put gel in my hair (something I never do) and I must say that when I looked in the mirror I did not look like a man that was living with billions of ants. I looked affluent, in an educated kind of way. I looked like I had a bank account filled with money and expensive food in my tummy. Instead I was going to a low level interview as a copy editor for a company that I had never heard of. I probably did not need to get as dressed up as I was, but since my bank account is empty- I was desperate to make a good impression. I met with a group of corporate looking people who call themselves “the board.” They put me in a single chair in front of their elongated table, behind which they all sat staring at me. They asked me a series of ridiculous questions like “why do I feel like I am the best candidate for the job?” and “what about my editing abilities makes me an effective copy editor?” I certainly did not reveal to them that I am dyslexic and have a terrible time spelling correctly but I did talk at length about my love for reading and my years of experience working as a writer and a high school English teacher.


Everything was going well until what felt like small, brief pinching sensations in my crouch began making me feel very uncomfortable. I had been noticing all morning that I was itching myself more than normal but I just assumed that was because of the starched suit I was wearing. I crossed and uncrossed my legs trying to nullify the slight pain that was starting to make its way down my legs. While I tried to maintain my composure and talk about why I thought I was the best candidate for the job- the pinching sensation intensified. It felt like I was being bitten in the strangest way. The sensation proceeded to very slowly move all the way down to the bottom of my legs and when I looked down at my shoes I could not believe what I saw, ants! My heart raced, I twitched, scratched and began to sweat. I cannot imagine what “the board” must of thought of me- but I tried to appear as confident as I could. I am hoping that they assumed that it was nervousness that caused me to twist and turn in such strange ways.


When the interview had ended, I shook all their hands and walked as quickly as I could to the bathroom, where I proceeded to take off my pants, shirt, socks, tie and shoes. I stripped down into my underwear in a bathroom stall and with tissues I wiped off the dozens of ants that were on my pants, legs, and socks and inside my shoes. I cursed the little creatures to hell before I squashed them and I even shed a few tears out of frustration rather than sorrow. “Why me?” I muttered to myself, but abstained from saying it out loud. When the bathroom was vacant I went out to use the sink and ran soapy water all over my legs, feet and chest. After what felt like hours of sanitation– I got dressed and returned home. In my car I still felt itchy all over my legs, which I prayed not to be more ants. I looked down on the floor of my car and found dozens of ants there to.


It was at this point that I decided I had lost. I threw my hands up in the air and declared “surrender” out loud. The war could not be won. The more ants that I killed the more that they multiplied. Karma had fucked me and there was nothing that could be done. I had to drive home resigned to the fact that there were ants crawling all over my legs and there was nothing I could do about it. The sensation drove me mad but all I could do was drive and breathe. For months I have been trying to avoid calling an extermination company into my home but I have decided that it is the only thing that can be done to bring my wife and I some relief. When I arrived home I took off my suit and stripped down into the nude. I noticed dozens of ants crawling around on my legs and between my toes, on the bedroom floor and when I got into the shower there were more. Under the hot water I washed away whatever sins and ants were left upon my burning body. I rinsed myself down with patchouli soap and watched the ants helplessly get funneled down the drain. The phone rang and I did not care. I heard the message on my answering machine, which was turned up much to loud. “Hello, this is Wendy from the board whom you just interviewed with. Someone found socks and a tie in our bathroom and I am almost certain that they belong to you. If these are indeed yours could you please contact me as soon as possible, I will hold them for you just in case. Thank you.”

Experienced Nanny For Hire

meI have been running out of money. The way I spend it does not allow much time for money to stick around. I have been trying to be frugal- eating meals at home, quit drinking booze to save money, going to a library to get my books rather than a bookstore and riding my bike or walking so as not to spend money on gas. But still my money dissipates. I have no incoming source of money and this is what makes me nervous. Every time I write a check or swipe my debit card I know that I am chipping away from a rare marble that cannot be replaced. One day soon, there will be nothing left. The anxiety of this situation hospitalized me with ulceration in my intestine a week ago. The pain was almost as immense as having very little money. When I was released the Doctor told me that I had many issues that needed to be worked out, one of them being that I had to find a job.


The stress of being unemployed can drive a man like me to do crazy things. The stress can paralyze me and cause me to spend an entire day lounging around in a hammock or walking the suburban streets in a daze. The stress can also do the opposite and cause me to apply for a job as a Nanny. I have figured that I have one more month, give or take, until I run flat out of cash. How I am going to come across more money is a mystery to me. I have been known to run to the end of a rainbow just to make sure that there is not a pot of gold sitting there. I have also been known to apply for strange and demeaning jobs that most people think someone like me is much to educated and accomplished to get. Desperation is a motivating force that can drive a person to do things that they never saw themselves fit to do. When I saw the add in the paper for the “Experienced Nanny For Hire”- how could I resist?


In the town where I live there is not much paying work and most people have to commute for an hour plus a day to get to work. Since this commute is not something I am willing to do I jumped when I saw that this job was only a few miles down the street from where I live.  Immediately I wrote the lady an email telling her that not only did I live close by but also I had many years of Mannying experience. I received an email back later that day telling me that she was looking for a Nanny. When I told her that indeed I was the equivalent to a Nanny, our email exchange became quite strange.  I explained to her that the male version of a Nanny was a Manny but she claimed to never have heard of this before. She became suspicious of my intentions and wanted to know of my experience working as a “Manny.” Since I was making the entire thing up and was merely just trying to earn a couple of bucks, I used my creative abilities and made up an entire list of families that I had “Mannied” for in the past. She wanted references as well- so I made a few letters of recommendation and after I sent them to her she invited me over for an interview.


The job paid $1,600 a month for thirty hours a week of work. Even though a year ago today I was making $4, 800 a month- I figured that this was a good enough place to start. Any amount of change would help in a time of personal economic recession. I tried to remain positive and think about spending my days free from a boss, alone with the kids watching television and reading my books. I put on my best clothes and rode my bike to her house but because it is so hot where I live by the time I arrived I was dripping with sweat. The sweat marks under my arms and on the front of my shirt were not the best way to make a first impression. When she opened her front door she looked at me up and down a few times, passed judgment and then invited me in. Her first words to me were “it’s hot out, how about lemonade?” and then showed me into the kitchen. The home was a normal suburban style one story flat with sunflowers in the garden, van Gogh prints on the wall and IKEA furniture in every room. The children she told me were asleep but we could talk in the den. I told her about my experiences working as a public high school teacher and why I was currently unemployed. She asked me if I was willing to clean up shit, and all I could say was “no problem lady.” “Nannying, or Mannying is not easy work, even though you might think it would be. My children are animals when I am not at home,” she told me and I just smiled and said that was fine.


By the time the interview was done I was in a pool of sweat. I do not know if it was my nerves, the heat, my desperation for cash or all of the above. I put on the best act that I could and when she asked me for phone numbers of families that I had worked for before I gave them to her with a smile on my face. Of course all of the numbers are phone numbers that lead to myself my wife or my sister (all of them are in on helping me find a job and are willing to lie for me when she called). She told me that she had a few more people to interview and as I was riding my bike home I was certain that I would never get the Mannying job. The irony of our existence is that things never work out as we had planned, which makes life nothing but one big surprise. If you would of told me when I was in graduate school that ten years down the road I would be applying for a job as a Manny, I would of told you that was impossible. A week went by and she did not call my wife, my sister or myself. I began to think that my opportunity to work as a Manny was over. My self-esteem diminished but this morning I received a call. She asked me when I would be willing to start and I said that I would be over bright and early in the morning.

My Topless Angel

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I was sitting at my desk when I first saw her. For a brief second I did not think it was true, but the closer I stared the more I wanted to believe that this could not be a figment of my imagination. She was riding on a pink cruiser, wearing an American flag bikini, a pink skateboard helmet and talking on a cell phone. I stood up from my desk and followed her with my eyes as much as I could through the window that sits just above my desk. I ran outside to see if I could not see more of her, but the moment that I made it to the street she was gone as quickly as she had appeared. My afternoon of typing up banal resumes and looking for jobs on the internet was suddenly stimulated to life by a brief sighting of a beautiful blond- what more could I have asked for? She could not of been a day over thirty, her hair caressed the air like paper floating through the wind and her body was sculpted like a fine work of art. I had difficulty returning to my desk that afternoon because I wanted to see more. My heart rate was speeded up and suddenly I felt a sexual feeling that I had gone so long without. When I finally returned to my desk to resume my dreary task of looking for work- I was almost depressed by the thought that my little bikini beauty queen was forever gone. Little did I know then that I would see her many times again.


The second sighting happened at my desk a few days later. I had almost forgotten about her because my brain had become so preoccupied by a need to earn cash. I had been without a job for over a month and my bank account was thinning out. The days filled with tormenting fights with my parents, wife and sister triggered by their questions and concerns about what I was going to do with my life, had left me tired and worn out. Sex was the furthest thing from my mind. It was a hot July afternoon and as I resentfully worked at my desk I just happened to lift my head and look through the window at the right time. She turned the corner on her pink cruiser, dressed in the same American flag bikini, wearing the same skateboard helmet, talking on the same cell phone with her blond her floating behind her like ripples in the sea. I suddenly felt myself become sexually stimulated as I noticed the definition in her tanned legs and the grace with which she peddled her bike. She appeared to be a young woman in perfect physical condition and the sight of her presence made me come alive. I again jumped up from my desk and ran outside with the hope that I would be able to see her one more time, but the moment that I got to my front doorstep she was already gone.


I could not believe that I was witnessing a phenomena that an older man like me could never even imagine in his craziest dreams. A young woman riding her bike around town in an American flag bikini? I had all but given up on extraordinary things such as this ever happening to me. My life had become a series of predictable events and the wonder and awe that fills a person  in their youth was all but gone from me. Now, I was constantly coming alive- looking forward to sitting down at my desk and looking for jobs. The only problem was that I spent little time on my computer looking for work and more time staring out my window. Days would pass and I would watch the world go by. My wife would become frustrated that I was not taking caring of myself. She wanted me to get up and go outside but I was more content sitting at my desk, waiting for what I had come to believe was my angel riding by.


After a few days of waiting without any luck, I had begun to lose hope. I had told no one about the girl and was beginning to think that possibly she was just a figment of my imagination. I am known for being a person who often confuses his dreams for reality and I was beginning to think that maybe this was true. My life had not been very fulfilling at that time and maybe I was manifesting the sexual stimulation that I was repressing deep within.  Then I saw her again, but this time something was different. It was late one night while I was working at my computer. Everything around was quiet since most people in my community were sound asleep. I heard the sound of shifting bike gears and I looked up and could not believe what I saw. Shimmering under the full moon light, my angel rode her pink cruiser- topless as the day she was born. Everything else was the same- the bike helmet, the long blond hair, the American flag bikini bottom and talking on a cell phone. Her breasts were like finely rounded water balloons sitting upon her chest. They jiggled lightly, slightly drooping as she rode. I could not see her nipples because of the darkness of night but the silhouette of her near perfect breasts were all I needed to see. She rode freely and without shame as if riding bare breasted late at night was not an unusual thing. My heart began to flutter in my chest as I realized that I suddenly felt just like I did the first time I fell in love.


The next day my mind was filled with an abundance of questions. “What is she thinking riding topless at night?” “Am I the only one that sees her on her bike?” “Is she real or just a figment of my imagination?” “Am I acting like an obsessive pervert?” “Would she ever return again?” Questions like these and more went on an on in my head all through out the day. I looked forward to the coming night where I hoped I would see her again. I just could not get over the fact that I had witnessed something so unbelievable that not even I could make up. I desperately wanted to see her again not only so that I could enjoy the sexual stimulation that comes with seeing a topless woman on a bike but also so that I could prove to myself that she was real. That afternoon I waited at my desk so as not to miss the possibility that she might ride by. I sent out a few emails, listened to classical music- but did nothing else but stare out my widow. Cars passed by making their way to their inevitable end. People of all ages rode past on their bikes enjoying the brief feeling of being free. Garbage men, lumber trucks, police cars and mini vans all came and went as I watched the monotonous cycle of daily life drive by my window. Not once, however, did I get to see my angel on a bike.


That evening I stayed up late. I sat on my front porch and waited. I was determined to see her topless once again, but by three in the morning I was to tired to stay awake. I repeated this cycle for many more days. Sat at my desk and watched the futile human world go by and spent my evenings up until three or four in the morning waiting for my topless angel to appear. She never came, and I noticed that I became a bit more depressed in her absence. I was questioning my sanity and wondering if any of what I had seen was real.


Then I began to dream about her during the night. It was always the same dream in which she would round the corner, topless and on her pink cruiser. She would catch me staring at her from my desk. Immediately she would stop her bike, take off her pink skateboard helmet and tuck the cell phone that she was talking on into the side of her American flag bikini bottom. She would stand there for a moment with her hair blowing in the wind and the moon shinning down upon her bare breasts. It was as if she was giving me permission to stare, which I did. She would move her body in various postures as if she was modeling just for me and in a state of bliss I watched for what felt like hours. She then put back on her helmet, blew me a kiss (which I could feel land on my face) and then got back on her bike and slowly rode away. I would panic because I did not want her to go. I would run out my front door desperate to see her some more. Sweat would be dripping from my face and it was at this point that I would always awake.


It has been over a week since I have seen or dreamed about my topless angel riding on her bike. I look for her day and night but she never comes. My dreams have returned to their boring state in which I am always projecting a fear and turning it into a ridiculous story. I have started to work again at my desk without bothering to look out my window. I have a job to find and despite the sexual fantasies that might await me outside, I need to get to work. Even though my life has started to get back to normal there has been one significant change that I have noticed. I have been filled with the youthful wonder and awe that I thought I had lost. When I go for walks or take a bike ride I am overwhelmed by all the beauty around me. I can perceive all the mysteries of life as they unfold and I rejoice in the fact that at any moment something completely unpredictable can occur. No longer am I stuck thinking that reality is always the same drudgery, day upon day- but now I seem to be watching the world continuously change. I feel freer than I once did, no longer bound in by the shackles of routine. Every moment is fresh- a new opportunity to be present in my life. Even if my topless angel was only a figment of my imagination- I cannot deny that something has shifted in me. I am no longer the same man that I was before I saw her. Every night before I fall asleep, I visualize my topless angel in my head. I try to see her clearly, in all her beauty. My hope is that after I am long asleep and all my troubles have faded away- I will get one more chance to watch her ride by.