There are billions of humans on earth, and trillions upon trillions of ants - an estimated 1.6 million for every human being. If the earth were a scale, and all the humans were placed on one side and all the ants on the other, it would not budge. Ants have answered the ever-expanding human biomass with an ever-expanding biomass of their own, so that the planet is poised, teetering between its two most successful civilizations - each of which is social, aggressive, expansionist, and well suited for war.
What’s it like to be kidnapped and held for ransom, not as a political prisoner but as an economic one? What’s it like to live in the Ecuadoran jungle for 141 days? What’s it like not to sleep, to be bound in chains, to have your body invaded by living things, to waste away to the point of death? This is what it’s like.
First it was Lubriderm, what my father rubbed briskly between his palms and extended in glistening offering. “How about a bit of the Lube?” he’d say when I walked into his bathroom. I was, like, 8 years old, or something, so I had no choice but to put my face in his shiny hands. Then, for a long time, it was Nivea. “How would you like a little…Nivea?” he’d ask, with his brown hands singing. Now it was baby oil.