The traffic was light, as it is every Sunday, with the exception of a queue at a big intersection. We were moving slow, bumper to bumper, 5 meters at a time, when suddenly I noticed something on my dashboard, right near the radio.
It was an ant. A tiny and common ant, probably of the “Antus Crazyus DontKnowWhereIAmButImGonnaGoRoundInCirclesUntilIGetThereus” genre.
Now, in the last couple of years I made the decision to spear the lives of small insects, instead of killing them just because they bothered me (except mosquitos, who down right make me go crazy, and the occasional flea I pick up whenever I visit with someone who has a cat).
I have to add that blood-sucking insects just flock to me, I have no idea why, maybe because I’m sweet-blooded and they find me irresistibly attractive. That’s why, when I’m outside with a group of people, nobody worries about mosquito bites, because they know that I will attract ALL of them.
So, considering the above, I decided to not only spear the life of that pesky ant, but also to try and save it by placing it in nature, where it belonged. Being caught in traffic, the easiest way to accomplish my goal was to open the passenger window and throw the ant on the sidewalk, on some grass or near a tree.
But: to do that, I needed to catch it first, on top of the fact that I was driving. That said, I started the hunt. The plan was to place my finger in the ant’s path, so that it would climb it, and then shake my finger out of the window to make the ant drop. That was my one and only plan, and had no “plan B” to fall back on.
I was confident that it will work, and, armed with that enthusiasm, I went straight to action. And, I soon as I did that, I failed. The ant found my finger to be an unsurmountable obstacle. Or it was just lazy and didn’t want to go up. Surprised and annoyed at the same time, I tried again. And failed again. And again. And again.
Just between you and me, it wasn’t an easy job to do. I had one hand on the steering wheel and one eye observing the traffic, while the other eye was on the ant and my other hand was trying to capture it.
“I’ve had it!” I said to myself, “One more attempt and that’s it”. I focused all my energy on the ant, missing the fact that the car in front of me stopped suddenly. Although I have pretty good instincts, it was too late. All my breaking didn’t stop the car and I rammed the car in front of me in the ass.
The shock made me forget all about the ant and I became agitated, playing the “What will happen after an accident” movie, in my head: going to the police station and waiting for hours, going to the insurance company, wasting time at the car shop to get it repaired, money down the drain….
I got out of the car to check the damage on the car in front of me, while the man driving it did the same. There wasn’t any! Being an old car, it had a bumper built of metal covered with plastic, and had no scratch on it. I was relieved. I checked mine: aside from a cracked plate holder and a front bumper that was loose and was easily set back into its place by hand, there was nothing.
Taking a deep breath, I thought to myself: “How lucky am I? Not a scratch.” I apologized to the other driver, and he said smiling: “That’s ok, there is no inconvenience. My car is solid, you could ram it with a tank without doing too much damage to it.”
We shook hands and went our separate ways. If I were to tell him what caused the accident, I think he would have laughed while rolling on the pavement. I continued on my way, watching with the corner of my eye the ant happily taking a stroll on the dashboard, not bothered much about the accident, probably having no idea of what happened, not to mention the fact that he was the star.
It wasn’t meant to be, for me to save it. The ant had its own life to live, maybe plans and goals to achieve and I wasn’t supposed to intervene.
The ant was free! Free to do whatever it wanted, and live the life it always wanted to live. Inside my car.