In my previous life, I was an ant. A thing so miniscule and insignificant, I could be crushed and killed in a matter of nanoseconds and it would draw no more notice than a silent fart in a crowded room. Indeed, I spent my life toiling as a common ant with no more personality than paint primer. Obedient as the day was long, I was the poster child of perfect children, but like all ants, I possessed no voice for nothing so paltry could carry the weight of vocal cords.
In my previous life as an ant, I was easily blown away by the wind of others’ voices and easily trod upon as they went about their daily business. Though outwardly my exoskeleton protected me from the casual barb, my insides were like jelly, easily penetrable and absorbing any old thing that could be mixed in. As an ant, I was so small that no one even noticed that I never spoke.
I let people hurt me because it seemed easier to say nothing than to voice my opinion. I allowed people take advantage of me because I did not want to appear querulous or fussy. I went along with whatever because I didn’t want to be the one who went against the current. I thought it would make me more pleasant, more likeable if I were fully amenable to whatever was offered, instead it relegated me to the lifestyle of the worker ant. The busy little drone that would do whatever was required so as to be considered one of the crowd.
One of the crowd, but never really one of the crowd. Like a wayward strand of hair that is a part of the whole lock, but doesn’t quite shine like all the rest.
While lacking in social value, the ant does possess functional skills. She who is deemed inconsequential becomes the observer. I could go days without speaking, simply watching and learning what I could about people who discounted me as nothing more than a brain with glasses. After years of watching humans interact with one another, I came to realise that I could no longer be an ant. I had to evolve, because if I ever hoped for a real voice, I would have to find it myself. No one would give it to me.
Six years ago, I found myself waist high in a rapidly whirling cesspool. I am still an ant, but I have foolishly allowed myself to believe that I had become a lion. Grossly unprepared for what awaited me here, I plunged headlong into a world of incessant gossiping, hurtful innuendo and destructive relationships that seemed to torture my very soul. The Grasshoppers sang cheerfully while I toiled.
Whomever I thought to be my friend revealed themselves as my enemy and hurt me in ways that I could not believe. Even in previous observances of Grasshoppers, I had never witnessed the tragedy that is the black race as I have done so here. I, who is reviled for sounding too white, was disturbed to realise that the only way to be “blackest” was to treat everyone around me with distrust and hatred, to eat them before they ate me. In my new found “friends'” quest to “blackinize” me, I was given videos of black people shooting other black people, robbing and raping other black people. “This will make you more like us,” one told me.
In my previous life as an ant, I might have accepted that, and perhaps for a time I did, until I realised that I was going against everything I had ever learned about a previously dignified race.
Alone, I went forward, pretending to have assimilated but never really fitting in.
What is the Real Question?
Everyone has become so incensed about my blog. Everyone has the burning question, “Why?” Yet none of you has bothered to ask me. At whom precisely did I mean to purposely fling those heartless words? Is this really about Shannon’s baby shower or the incident in the break room? Of course not. Don’t you read? I stated that those incidents were just added on to a pile of grievances that was already threatening to fall over. For years, I have had this thing pressing on me without daring to speak it to a single creature and it’s been eating me inside like a flesh-eating disease. I could not take it anymore, and it was time that I finally revealed what I had been dying to say.
No longer am I an ant.
For years, I struggled in that prison camp, not just with the insipid management, promoted to the highest level of their incompetence–no, I struggled more with the ever-changing relationships of those around me. I could never tell who was real and who wasn’t. I made poor choices of friendships and in the end that proved to be my downfall. I should have stayed an ant, but instead I became the bee.
Carelessly flitting from one poisonous flower to the next, taking pollen from those that I should have never crossed. I admit to my own foolishness in daring to be a sophisticate when I was not. Each night, when I lay in the bed of nails that I had made, I cursed myself for these irrational choices, this hole that was getting deeper and deeper, from which I could never climb out.
I try to never live my life with regrets, but she who refuses to admit her mistakes never learns from them. Perhaps I should have never began my Great Love Affair with the Fox that I loved so passionately but knew myself to be forever divided from him. So many of you thought I was a fool, but none of you could possibly know the level of my fervour for him and when nights are cold, I think of our warmest moments, and truthfully, not one involved us steaming up the sheets. Whether it is truth or not, I will grant myself one fantasy that ours was the stuff of cinematic proportions. He was Heathcliff to my Catherine.
Years of speculation and unending gossip soured that milk, and the wretched bitterness of the Great Crane still washes over me with a power of a storm surge. I’m sorry you thought I was the harbinger of all your despair, but you know as well as I do one should not play where sleeping dogs lie. Everything you did up until that point and ever afterwards, I curse you. May you live forever.
And no one ever really thought to ask me what happened. Why would they when the Made for TV version is so much more amusing. I vowed to stay silent, but some days I wanted to bite out my own tongue. One Crane to the next insinuating that she had availed herself of his favours, as if it would make me jealous! If only you knew the truth of it and why I was so bitter.
Thieves Without Honour
And then there were the ones that thought if one could get past the gate, they all could come running through. Let us talk about the Dog who had a girlfriend under my very nose, but yet propositioned me anyway. The Dog will one day get what he deserves, and I’m sorry that I played right into his hand and caused the agony of his girlfriend. I never knew about her, never knew her name, but thankfully I wasn’t stupid enough to lie with Dogs. I wondered why she burned me with her eyes, and it wasn’t until someone told me who she was that all the pieces fell into place. She is a jealous sort, and a dummy for putting up with his foolishness, but at least she can be assured that she had no cause to be jealous of me. Ants and Dogs do not mix. All his friends worship him, but the Dog is the King of Liars. One day when he wakes from his bed of bitches, he will find himself infested with fleas.
Rot the bastard who told me of the sordid tale of his wife who wasn’t interested in sex and if I wouldn’t mind filling in for her. She would be his perfect June Cleaver wife while I would be some under the bridge night shade. Because all these Cranes, who were supposed to be, if not friends, at least amenable associates, were telling him that I didn’t mind, that I liked guys who were already attached. He told me that she had said, “You’re cool like that.”
Since I was really an ant, I said nothing when I asked who had told him something so outrageous.
In my previous life as an ant, I tried to run away. One day, when I could no longer take the incessant whispering, the ridiculous speculation, I left work early and got in my car and drove south until I was almost home to Florida. I would have left everything here, abandoned my job and all my worldly possessions because I just couldn’t take it anymore. But even ants are made of stronger stuff.
People like these destroy the good in other people. They are careless in their actions and thoughts. They capitalise on others’ mistakes for their own end. I wish I could say that was the only sad chapter in the story of my overly dramatic life.
Throne of Fools
But how I can I possibly forget my Calamity of Friendship? There is so much left unsaid regarding this particular situation, and if I thought there was enough paper in the world I might try to explain every sordid little detail. What really is the point? If anyone really wanted to know, they would have sought the truth then instead of making up their own conclusions.
As it happened, the Cranes that were not involved, and should not have been involved, flocked in throngs to exacerbate the situation beyond irrevocable repair. The Raven, who desires to be a Swan, cannot scrub his black feathers enough to absolve himself of any wrong doing. I sometimes wonder what might have been had we discussed things on our own terms rather than the explosion that happened. My problem is that I keep things built up inside me until I’ve reached the breaking point. Prior to all of that, I had had it in my mind to discuss the situation at my leisure, if ever I was going to. I might not have ever said anything. In my previous life as an ant, I had grown accustomed to keeping silent about what hurt me most.
Far be it from me to express my true feelings without appearing the fool, and silently I watched the Raven dance attendance upon the Crows. Little did he realise that although the Raven and the Crows share the same black feather, the cackle of Crows are a nuisance. They cannot assume a character not their own without appearing foolish, but the Raven would rather shed his majesty to sit upon a throne of fools.
I’ll not go over what role the Raven played, for that’s already been laid out for public consumption, but I never addressed the Cranes. Why did you even involve yourselves? A few of you had nothing to say on the subject, and for that I was grateful but the rest of you–you took it upon yourselves to champion a would-be hero when you didn’t even know the whole story. Everyone fancies themselves a provocateur. Afterwards, when it all came out in the wash, only one of you bothered to apologise. She didn’t come out and say, “I’m sorry,” like some trite Hallmark card, but I appreciated that she acknowledged the situation. In her own way, she expressed her apologies and I really liked her for that. The rest of you, well, I did mean it when I said I wanted you to rot in hell.
I look back on those wretched days with a certain kind of misery that perhaps we all could have made better decisions. If it makes it an easier pill to swallow, I’ll allow myself to believe that.
A Woman Scorned
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. I wish I could say that I had a fury built within me over this perfidious Wolf who fancies himself a player but is truly an aging Lothario with a receding hairline. All my life, it seems, I waited for a man like him. While Cranes yearn for Romeo, I await patiently upon Colonel Brandon. Sadly, my Colonel Brandon can only be likened to the Wolf of Willoughby.
At any rate, while I can truly admit that I was never in love with him, I must be honest and say that I had a great fondness for him and enjoyed his company. When he asked me one random day, “Do you think I’m your boyfriend?” my heart did skip a beat but logic always rules the day. An ant is always too sensible to place passion over prudence and I accepted his casual dismissal of me like a lost twenty dollar bill. Annoyed, but there was nothing I could do about it.
What I didn’t know was that he is by far colder and crueller than any of the devil’s own. It’s funny how in retrospect everything becomes clearer. I had once remarked to him that I found him to be lacking in any sentiment and rather emotionless. He looked at me oddly and asked why I thought that of him. I told him, “You never speak of previous girlfriends with anything other than dry fact.” He was never angered, outraged, annoyed, melancholy or bittersweet. I know that most men do not like to reveal their emotions, but the fact that this Wolf spoke so dully of his past let me know that even if I had been in love with him it would have been completely one-sided. I suppose I should have suspected that much of a man who treats his own mother like a mildly retarded four year old and once said that he regretted his own child. Wolves often reject their own kind when there is little usefulness for them.
But women only see what they want to see and I am no exception. As an ant, I have a limited field of vision. Perhaps I was blindsided by a few months of sweaty sheets and long discourses about Star Trek, but when it all comes down to it, I should have realised that Wolves are always looking for the next bird. Both Swans and Storks fell into his trap and this poor Ant was stomped on without so much as a backward glance.
I don’t feel sorry for myself that after all these months I have finally learned some semblance of the truth. Truthfully, I still only know half the story and I find that I just don’t care to even know the rest. Why should I mourn the loss of that which gave me none, and yet tried to destroy that which he gave? My tears do dry on their own. He met every expectation, which I had not placed very highly for myself. It’s funny how we are deceived so easily by appearances. Truly, he is the Wolf that lured me from the precipice, allowing me to foolishly believe that I would be safe in his meadow. Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement (John 7:24).
The Poison Within
Over the years, there have been those that have come and gone that made no relevant remark on my life. Then there were those that came that seemed to singe me with their very presence. The Vulture who arrived some years ago, came like a Black Plague, sweeping in to destroy everything in her path. She truly never did anything to me, except excite situations that did not concern her. I can only accuse of her of being the Witch’s Broom that ate everything that was good and joyful. I feel a coldness for her that freezes the marrow in my bones. I cannot say it is hatred because hatred is a fire that burns. This is more like a frosty sensation that congeals the blood in my veins.
The Cranes reward her behaviour with a Crown of Thorns that she wears like a tiara, and I feel sadly for the Storks who flock around her. Storks, beware: birds of a feather do flock together, and birds of a feather get hung together. Tread lightly when in the company of these dangerous Birds for they will abandon you at the moment you need them most.
While this is by no means a full account of everything that ever went on in my life, I have to admit that I needed to offer some explanation to those that honestly tried to make sense of my bizarre behaviour. I would like to thank the Fox for giving me another viewpoint to consider. While I will never be sorry for what I did, I do like to have insight on the alternate perspective.
I appreciate what you try to do, help me to gain the other perspective and in my previous life as an ant, I might have allowed myself to be swayed by your podium-styled words. You ask me questions, “Am I happy?” and “Do I think what I did was any better than what they did?” Irrelevant. For the record, I am happy but there is no such thing as total perfection in happiness. I still had demons under my bed that required vanquishing. What I did may or may not have been no worse nor any better than what I’ve accused of the Cranes. That is neither here nor there.
I take strong exception that I should do nothing because I cannot change the world. When you stand aside against those that trespass against you, that’s tantamount to saying that I accept it and you can keep doing it. For so long, I tried to be the bigger person and just let it fall by the way side. Only, I’ve discovered that in order for me to really let this baggage go, I had to say something. Granted, I should not have allowed it to fester inside me like gangrene, but it’s out now and there’s no going back.
I remember we used to half-jokingly worry about the Donkey and how he might come back and shoot up the place one day, he was so weird and off-balanced. But you know what they say, it’s the ones you least suspect that you have to worry about. The useless ant that everyone ignores is always the most dangerous, because the ant turns out to be the Scorpion. Oh, I could never conjure up such violence that I would enter my former workplace and shoot up everybody. That certainly is not my style. Death is too easy, and I have no desire to rot in jail.
This is my way of “shooting up the place.” Some of you couldn’t believe the words that I wrote. Some were just so shocked that I could say such mean things. You have no idea. You said to me, “That’s not you.” What do you know? What do you know of my suffering? For years this thing sat on me, weighing me down, pressing on me and I could never explain to anyone what I alone endured. But yet, every time I’ve created some shocking scandal, you dial my number with words that are supposed to make me remorseful. As if I could ever issue an apology for anything I have intentionally done. I wanted to do this. I needed to do this.
I’m not sorry that some people had their feelings hurt. Indeed, mine have been hurting all this while. It felt good to hurt others as they have hurt me. I acknowledge that it doesn’t make me the bigger person, and quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn. I find it a foolish notion that everyone else can get away with being imprudent while I swallow the bile of my bitterness, but when I seek my vengeance for once, now I’m reviled. The irony is that everyone begs the question, “What did they do to deserve that?” What didn’t they do?
I don’t care that now everyone who was my friend is no longer my friend because I did this. It’s evident that we were never truly friends in the first place. I knew there would be certain casualties when I wrote it in the first place. I am prepared for that. In order for me to have real peace, I know I have to take the good, the bad and all the ugly. I am aware that some people thought my tirade was directed at them and without naming names, there was no way possible you could know exactly whom I meant. If you asked yourself, “Okay, what did I do to her?” you may consider that you were not my target. I don’t care that some might have a different view of me. I don’t care that some are shocked and angered and confused. I just don’t care. My motives were purely selfish. While Shannon’s baby shower was the jump off, it invoked in me these memories I thought I had suppressed. Getting that off my chest, venting as I did was like releasing a suture that had been pooling bad blood. You cannot possibly imagine the clear-headedness I now possess.
I am no longer an ant. I am the scorpion, still small, but fierce and dangerous when not taken seriously.
I have to use the weapons that God gave me. He did not give me any great strength, nor steel of backbone. I was not blessed with an aggressive demeanour. He made me overly sensitive and soft-hearted. Overly analytical and emotional, I have no skill at “getting in one’s face” without turning into an emotional basket case. The only weapon I have is my pen and it is with great relish that I slay all my demons. May they fall under my bloody pen, vanquished once and for all, freeing me from the black madness that has been eating me alive all these years.
I have never felt so free in my life.
You may not have understood everything I have said. Certain metaphors and references may have escaped you. No need to look too deeply into my monikers. Just read the story around them and you will understand everything clearly as I have wrote it.