Something terrible had happened here; I just wasn't sure what.
I walked into the room and Kenny was sprawled out on the dingy carpet. His demeanor was aloof and uninterested: "nothing to see here, move along". I, however, didn't believe it. I've known him long enough to mistrust that glazed, slightly evil gaze that he fixes upon me when he is trying to feign innocence.
I suspected that the corner of the carpet by the stairs might contain a clue to the commission of the crime, since I noticed it was slightly turned up. I peeled it back, slightly ill at the thought of what I might find there. "Are these bug parts?" I asked him, knowing as I said it that he would not respond. A few shiny, black, hairy legs lay in a random, yet somehow lovely, pattern. Is God's plan revealed in the disposition of these cockroach legs? Who knows . . . for stranger truths are contained in far stranger places.
No, this was not it, not the evidence that would incarcerate him. I continued the search. There was a thin, yet active, line of ants leading to the cabinet where we keep sheets and assorted holiday items. I opened the shutter-style doors and peered inside. The ants had swarmed, forming black, moving masses of insect hysteria in pursuit of something hideous, something nameless. The stench hit my nostrils at about the same time my eyes were struggling to reconcile the horrid sight with the pleasant contents of the cabinet: lavender soap and Christmas bears, utterly defiled by mobs of biting ants, moving in a chaotic yet preordained direction. They were sharing information with the Head of the Hive, the Queen of the Nest, the Intelligence behind their stunning and terrifying assault on the innocent bag of gifts, the sweetly scented pillow cases. "What is in there, Kenny?" I queried, knowing as I said it that no answer would be forthcoming. He rolled on his back and yawned. It was going to be a long night.
I knew that I had to pull the items out of the cabinet, risk the wrath of thousands of ants soon to be disturbed, distracted from their single-minded pursuit of the Thing Without a Name. I pulled out the back of gifts, running to the back door to throw it out on the cedar chips before the tiny ant jaws ripped off particles of my skin and injected their painful venom. I then rescued the pillow cases and sheets, watching as the ants' hysteria increased exponentially. I was bitten. There was no way to avoid their panic as I relentlessly dug towards the Source. It was then, on my third incursion into the cabinet, that I saw IT: a pile of organic matter so covered in orgiastic ant life that I could not make out its true nature.
I ran upstairs and put on the thick rubber gloves reserved for only the most vile jobs. I grabbed the Windex and a roll of paper towels. I returned to the scene of the crime, spraying the ants with wild abandon, watching them slow down as the ammonia overwhelmed their lust, their lives. Finally, I was able to tear off some paper towels and grab the offensive pile of organic matter, now reeking of Windex and . . . cat crap. Kenny had crapped in the gift and pillowcase cabinet.
I whipped around, ready to face the criminal and watch him realize his colossal error: underestimating by ability to seek and find the ultimate truth. Instead of the expected look of contrition, or a grimace of deep emotional pain, or even an expression of mild remorse, I saw nothing but the back of his head moving rhythmically as he cleansed his testicle sacs. As the dying ants were crawling off the crap and biting me one last time before they expired, I decided to walk upstairs, dispose of the evidence and ponder the punishment.
But of course, there is no punishment for such offenders; like serial killers, they have no conscience, no flickering of remorse. Later that same evening, Kenny crawled into his Grime Box. As the filthy heating pad kept him warm, he stared at me through slanted eyes.
"You can't prove I did it," he said, "so why don't you just go write about it in your 'blog' and let me sleep."
And so I did; but there would be a next time, there always is. Next time, I'll be watching.