The council seem to have stopped spraying weedkiller on the weeds at the sides of the road. As a result, grass, dandelions and other green things are lushly growing out of the cracks between the kerbstones and the road.
I keep kicking them out. As I pass a big clump of weeds, a well-aimed kick sends it sailing into the road. Clump by clump I’m clearing York’s roads of weeds.
There are lots of places where weeds are free to grow wild. They take over these places and thrive in their prolific profusion. They are at home there. They belong. Where they don’t belong is in the cracks at the side of these road. So says me.
There’s an ants nest in the walls of our house. Sometimes, the ants come into the house, but mostly not. Still, they are not welcome there. It isn’t their place, despite their feelings (or whatever ants have in place of feelings) to the contrary. So I try to kick them out. I squirt poison into their holes and then block the holes with matchsticks. And then I cover the whole area with that white powder.
There are lots of places for ants to live and thrive in their relentless profusion. Just not in the walls of our house. They don’t belong there. So says me.
Pigeons try to build nests under our solar panels on the roof. Need I say more?
I have this idea of boundaries: that things and people only exist in delineated territories. That we should stick to our own places and that we should not invade those of others.
I have many, many stupid ideas like this. Ideas that cause division and argument. I declare that this is mine and that no-one else has the right to take it. And, inevitably, when they do, I rant and rage and slam doors and drawers to show my displeasure. I use anger as a tool to try to communicate the message that I feel intruded upon. That my territory has been invaded. And that I want it back.
It’s really difficult to shift this feeling of ownership. But I’m aware of it. I’m aware that the feeling that I own things and places and ideas has moved into my mind. And now I’m aware – I want it out.
Ah, if only there was a powder you could buy for that.