Ants on the Ceiling

Ants are crawling on the ceiling again. The ceiling is invisible. Sometimes the ants fall into my mug of wine. My mug says World’s Greatest Dad. It’s always stained red. Except after I do the dishes, which seems to be my main gig these days. I’m beginning to think I have writer’s block. I would say the stains on my mug look like blood, but I don’t have what it takes to be a vampire. Anne Rice built a long and prosperous career on vampires. Not that I’ve read her. I could, however, read her at anytime, because I found one of her minor titles rustling its pages by the side of the road. I guess somebody didn’t like it. Or maybe they left it on the roof of the car and it fell off. At any rate, I picked it up, as I’m wont to do, and gave it to my girlfriend’s sister, Kim, who happened to be visiting. I felt like she would like it because she likes Marilyn Manson. It probably ended up back on the street. Speaking of the street, the other day, on my way back from the liquor store, I passed by a single page from a book written by a writer that I had not heard of before. Beezy Marsh is her name. It was page 14: the first page of chapter 2. The title for the chapter was, Peggy, August 1931, and “From her vantage point on the front doorstep, Peggy had made a secret study of the way the women moved up and down the street,” was the opening sentence. I just assumed that Beezy Marsh was a long dead writer from the first half of the 20th century, but when I googled her I discovered she’s a contemporary writer from Oxfordshire, England, and, evidently, successful enough to have one of her pages lying in the grass that grows beside the sidewalk that leads from the liquor store to my apartment, here in Canada. There was a black ant on the Beezy Marsh page, and there were a couple black ants inside the Anne Rice book. I’m not sure what the ants were doing there. Perhaps they were mistaking words for other ants. My black cat claws at words on pages for some reason. I have two cats, and the other cat, the one that isn’t black, has no interest in words. The ants on my invisible ceiling are also black. I wonder if they are from the same colony as the Beezy Marsh and Anne Rice ants. Probably not. Like I said before, sometimes the ants on the invisible ceiling fall into my mug and I watch them swim through a lake of wine, over to the edge of a sheer cliff, where they get a foothold and climb their way out. If one looks like it is drowning I will give it a nudge over to the side. I don’t kill the ants or let them die. The ants show me where the holes in the invisible ceiling are. The holes are always changing their location, just to fuck with me I suppose. But the ants find the holes no matter where they move to and when they do, they fall into my mug of wine.

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3 thoughts on “Ants on the Ceiling

  1. This is funny and sad…a riff on many things and it doesn’t appear that you have writer’s block. No, it seems you are contemplating how the fuck you got to where you are and things are going just about right…two steps forward and one step back, or maybe the reverse, but the point is nothing is every going to be easy or knowable, but always coincidental and painful and wonderful as in “the wonder pulls us along to the next part.” As Jack Kerouac would say, “What will happen?” Thanks and yes, lightning does strike.

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  2. The writer’s block was a bit of irony because this piece came out in under an hour; atypical for me. Usually I labour over things. I am guilty of ponderousness in my writing, particularly in Bus, which is a novel that is too dense, too centripetal to catch fire and shine a light. It will serve to remind me not to smother the coals with too much wood, and also not to get too excited in the metafiction dept, especially now that it’s a trendy thing in Hollywood with movies like Deadpool etc. which was enjoyable, but a little too “titty-pinching” as DFW once said.

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  3. Pages in the weeds by the side of the road – messages in a bottle. Ants dropping into the wine. It all somehow forms a symphony. This piece reminded me of “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering…” – same feeling. A wandering, content mind. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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