2011-04-24

The Little Ant with the Criminal Mind (11/13)


(11/13@11/13) The little ant with the criminal mind sometimes got quite gloomy.  Sometimes it was a mix of gloomy and excited.  He got caught up in the idea of how much he had in front of him to do and he just felt like diving into something so it might take him mind off the rest of it.  It was not the joy of doing, but the necessity of avoiding the unjoy, the antijoy of not doing.  And those perils were great.  It would come on him all of a sudden.  He would be sort of frozen in one of his depressive torpid reveries, when all of a sudden an overwhelming sense that he was behind some schedule or that it was imperative that he get something done immediately.  The thought of inaction became suddenly repellant.  It was as though he had to redo, to rework, the whole colony, or nothing would be right with the world, in effect nothing would be right with the world until he did so.  Work was another tranquilizer or something that, like his goodies, his other goodies, made all things better, made what was wrong with the world better during the time that he was doing it and maybe for a little while afterwards.  There was a need there, an unquenchable unfulfillable need that drove him, pushed him, forced him, compelled him to work.  There was seldom joy in the work, at best perhaps the satisfaction that no one could reproach him what he was doing then, just then, because he was doing something that was useful and productive.  The freedom from reproach was a reward of his slavish devotion and dedication to work, at the times when the obsession took hold of him.  He noticed that he had olfactory hallucinations.  To an ant, smells are strongly tied to feelings, for instance if the colony “smelled” angry, then the ants became angry and in turn the colony smelled more angry because more and more ants gave off angry smells.  But he was different.  He was sure he smelled a certain thing, but then he would look around and see that none of his fellow ants were behaving as though they smelled it, too, so perforce he was smelling something that wasn’t really there.  In a sense, this made him “crazy” in an antish sense, because he was not acting or smelling or feeling normally.

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