Or so I thought this morning. At the kitchen’s island counter where my tin of French honey is each morning, they had, this line of ants, invaded it. Streaming up, two or three abreast, from floor to corner, from corner to counter top, counter top to tin, where the most intrepid of these crawlers had gotten beneath the lid, felt their way down, a good number drowning in the golden pool I dip my spoon in each morning. On this one to shovel them out with the tip, a dozen or more. All delaying my trip to the study where I’d intended to spend my usual two and half hours, now two because of the time I’d spent fishing with the tip, wiping with a paper towel those deceased from the curved wall, the nose of Bounty later crumpled and tossed into the garbage before the sponging of the counter top, consuming more time.
Ants driven by obsession, as much as smell, the kind that drives writers to that third (the fourth of my current one) draft. All that revising, rewriting, or simply staring. In the 1790’s, early 1800’s, Balsac did each of those things, day after day. He’d sleep a few hours, then wake in the middle of the night and work for seven or eight hours. Fueled by coffee, of course, and maybe honey, the French kind I myself rely upon. Whether he had to battle ants is an historical mystery. He wouldn’t have used a Ziplock to encase his jar, an idea my wife suggested for our tin this morning. Though he would have, in the flickering candlelight of his garret, felt the kind of aggravation I felt at being diverted by whatever cause. The crow of a rooster, say, at dawn.