The Year Of Living Differently-Writing For Writing's Sake



In our bathroom at work, there is tile. It has no visible seams, just a flat expanse of grays and blacks and whites. From my vantage point (near the sink or well, taking a constitutional) it appears flat and basic. Each day though, I see a sugar ant, tiny and black. This ant meanders across the vast stretch of tile, perhaps it's a country road or a perhaps the ant is lost wandering in a desert.

I think about this ant (though I'm sure it's not the same ant each day even though I see an ant each and every day and from the distance it surely could the same one...I've never gotten a magnifying glass to seek identifying remarks, amazing coloration perhaps of thorax and leg, eyes lensed in alien flesh and antennae perhaps even wearing a hat...though perhaps I should because it's rude to assume about someone), when I'm in the bathroom because I wonder what it's like to walk across what might be nearly a state's worth of tile to get to where one needs to go.

Is it a state's worth? If the ant is a millimeter in length and the room is about 2 meters across and I am 5 foot 6 and Oregon is...wait. Perhaps it's more like a city like walking across Austin, but holy mother what an amount of work to do.

The ground, is it stable for them, that little ant? Is it flat and smooth or are there fissures and gaps, ditches, and fields, that the ant must traverse. The ant never seems to stumble, they just move forward leg by leg by leg by leg by leg and I stand over them and think...I could crush you with my foot.

Should I? Why?

And I decide not to do such a cruel act to a damn ant who is just trying to forage something for their collective, or perhaps was out about town, or perhaps is lost, or perhaps comes to worship the giant moving mountains that frequent the space day in and day out, and then I can't see the ant because the tile is multicolored and perhaps I've lost track and I could have crushed that ant because I looked away for just that one second.

No wonder God gets it wrong. I am not omnipotent. And perhaps God gets pretty damn distracted when they go to the john, you know? And while they could crush you they don't, in a moment of irrational mercy, but then they hike their skirt down and move their foot and bam, dead.

And the collective waits for the tiny morsel of food. And the collective wails together for the missing one, but they send another one out, day after day after day after day after day and day again, leg after leg after leg after leg after leg after leg.

And I wonder how I'm any different really. How merciful I might be, perhaps how irrational it is to think about the ant, to pause, while peeing, to quietly inquire about their day, and then to try and walk, gingerly, giant mountain feet so clumsy, to let this one, and that one just go about their business.

Perhaps some mountainous and clumsy God will look out for me as well.

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