The Little Ant with the Criminal Mind (10/21)

(10/21 @ 10/19)  The little ant faced a foe with whom he could not negotiate and against whom he could not fight.  The foe was implacable, unforgiving and merciless.  How he longed to change the rules even just a little bit, to be able to be out of the closet of his own queerness, hiw own oddness, and not immediately put to death for it.  He would leap at the chance.  He would endure any hardship.  He could not imagine how it could ever happen, though.  To be looked at and not immediately judged.  Even the life of a slave would be preferable to escape that constant judgement.  But it was all a dream.  There was no way to see outside of the bounds of one’s own culture.  Was there an objective point of view from which one could judge all things based souly on their merits?  If there were it was beyond the ken of most ants.  Scienti8sts tried to do such things, and they might come up with such as that a certain food item that seemed just the same to gathering workers as some other food item was in fact much better and should be gatered instead.  But they did not seem to come up with much to say about whether it was good or bad for ants to be put to death for deviance.  They usually said very little and when the did say anything, it was usually along the lines of an apology for the status quo, something of the type that deviancy ws in fact a kind of serious incurable illness and so death, though harsh perhaps, was probably not an inappropriate treatment.  This made everyone feel good…except of course the deviants themselves, but they were already dead anyway, so what did it matter?  It was all rotten to the core, it seemed.  He saw no allies nor any escape.  He thought of suicide.  Would it occur to him the next time he was on water-gathering duty to shove one droplet too many into the collected mass of water down in the water storage room and thereby get himself enveloped and drowned?  One thought occurred to him now, and that was how odd it was that when he was on midden duty or collecting rubbish inside the colony or digging, or any of a dozen other chores that he as an ant might perform at any given time, he should brood at length and think of how he would just as well like to or  like nothing better than to simply do himself in, while at other times these thoughts would not occur to him.  He wasn’t sure if he could remember a time when he felt gloomy while gathering or while on water duty.  It was as if when he felt gloomy all he could remember were other times when he had felt gloomy, too, and yet he had been on water duty many times and it seemed that if he felt really rotten during every one of them then he surely would have done himself in by now.  He must have sharply varying moods and perhaps his memory was linked to them strongly.  The thought of doing himself in during water duty had occurred to him many times, in fact it was a mainstay of his suicidal ruminations and yet there were only a few times when the thought had occurred while actually on water duty.  Could his moods be related to getting up  and out of the colony or not?  Did being outside somehow make him feel better?  He somehow couldn’t tell.  It was as though during the times he felt good he could only recall the other good times, and likewise with the bad times, and so the quirks of his memory made the good times all the more euphoric and the bad times all the gloomier…and dangerous.

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