Anyone who tells you that I am a good person is a big fat liar. I am NOT a good person and I have been learning this my whole life in numerous ways. And this week I have learned that I am ... a murderer.
There is always a war going on within me, I think. Paul talks about in in Scripture, the war between the flesh and the Spirit. But this week, it has been the war without. As in outside of me. I have done nothing but kill things, most notably: ants, spiders and crickets.
On Monday I started to eat a sandwich and it tasted like crap, so I figured the meat was probably old and I shouldn't eat it anymore, so I threw it away. I thought it was an awesome idea. So did all of the ants which heard the trumpet call of the stale bread hitting the trash bag. Tuesday I went to throw something away and opened the door under the sink to do so, only to discover the area under my sink was the Ritz-Carlton for ants. Dozens of ants had moved in and made themselves quite at home. The darkness was alive. With two antennae and six legs each. Things in large numbers really really freak me out. It doesn't matter how small the individual things are, if there are lots of them, or if I keep finding them like they won't die, I panic. This is one of my irrational fears. So I panicked. I didn't know what to do! I closed the door and sat down and tried to take deep breaths and cursed myself for not putting the trash bag in the outside trash can.
Then I went to the laundry room, took out the Windex and put on some shoes. Then with a wild war cry, I opened the door under the sink and yanked out the trash can, proceeding to spill its contents and residents onto the kitchen floor. Badly done! I quickly tried to stand the trash can back up, using only my fingernails, to give the ants as little surface area as possible over which to climb and take possession of the rest of my body. I proceeded to spray Windex everywhere. Anytime I saw anything moving or a little bit black, I sprayed it. Black lint? Sprayed. Brown piece of paper moving with the wind of the fan? Sprayed. Ant? Sprayed. My theory was this would kill the ants. And in fact, enough Windex does kill an ant. But mostly it stuns them. It was good enough. If I could stun them long enough to a. stomp them to death or b. throw the can into the trash outside, I would consider myself successful.
And successful I was, but not without feeling simultaneously victorious and shameful for just re-enacting moment by moment a scene from some chick flick romantic comedy bound to come out in the next fifteen years.
Yesterday, I got ready to climb into my shower and found myself about to share the space and peaceful moments of rejuvination with a large black spider. Most spiders I don't mind and I have been known to leave a spider alone when discovering him in that very same shower. I'm lazy and try to be considerate. But spiders this big and this black cannot be ignored. I tried to scare him off into disappearance with a few sprays of water - out of sight, out of mind. But the bugger (pardon the pun) just wouldn't have it. Gallant thing he was. I tried to drown him by just tossing handfuls of water in his direction. A few direct hits, and several times I swore I had won, and just as I breathed that sigh of relief and turned the water off, he sprang back to life, all eight of his limbs reanimated and began scrambling around again ... but not to hide, to reassert his dominion in that white porcelain land. That was it. The gauntlet had really been thrown now. No mercy. Finally I turned the tub on full blast and began to fill it like I was going to take a bath. He stopped struggling and seemed to curl into the ball I had seen so many times in the last three minutes. I wasn't falling for that trick again. I let it fill a little further, probably until it was an inch of water. Then I was nearly satisfied. I turned off the water and began to let it drain out. And I towered over that land that once was his and watched that king literally circle the drain. He was so big, he couldn't fit through the holes in the drain. So I pounded him with the shower a few times and broke his body into pieces that could fit. No funeral for him. A massacre. Without respect.
Then this morning at Starbucks, I reenacted the great Bathtub Battle of 2010 in the sinks and around the counters of the store, but in smaller scale. I had to have killed half a dozen crickets. They just kept coming back! Those suckers are freaking invincible! I used to love crickets because they're musical and rub their legs together to sing little songs, like a tiny street corner violinist. But not after today. Today their souls are as dark as their skin and I have waged a righteous war on their whole civilization. They will be destroyed.
No. I am not a good person. I am a ruthless insect killer. Beware. If you're a bug.