By, Grant Lingel
The bar at Finca Ixobel, an ecological farm/guest ranch in central Guatemala, normally closed at one, but seeing as how we were in the jungle and far from anything, that time was negotiable and depended on the night. I was itching to go swimming, missing my almost nightly dips in the sea back in Playa del Carmen so I suggested a night swim. “Last one in is a communist!” screamed Eddie as he ripped all of his clothes off in the blink of an eye.
All we could see was his bare white ass fade slowly as he ran to into the water. Splash! Everyone in sight stripped and tossed their clothes in various directions. Like a stampede, we bolted towards the water in a mad nude dash. I realized as I ran it was damn hard to see where I was going and almost crashed into a lawn chair as I ran. The ground grew softer as we approached the water and the last six steps or so were mud. Almost as if it were orchestrated, there was a machine gun blast of eight or so splashes, one after another before I was midair and on my way to be number nine. Splash!
The water was crisp and refreshing and drunk bodies jumped about, bobbing up and down and knocking one another over. The floor of the lagoon was muddy and squishy, however enjoyably squishy. The swim didn’t last too long as the cool night breeze made it almost unbearable to keep any wet skin out of the water. We all started climbing out of the water and into the cold night air, goose bumps running relay races around my body. We stood around the water waiting for everyone to get out when we felt our feet being chewed apart.
“What the hell is that?” Hero shrieked in agony as he swiped at his feet.
Everyone had the same reaction and we started running towards the bonfire to see what was happening to our ankles. As we approached the light we began to notice ants had covered our feet and were making their way up our legs. These were aggressive little bastards too, biting with every step they took. I began dramatically smacking my ankles and feet, trying frantically to brush off the tiny and violent intruders. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for this experience, watching twelve naked people dancing around a fire, aggressively swatting at themselves like maniacs. After the ant debacle had cleared up we all started laughing as we realized how ridiculous the situation was. We stood for about ten minutes around the fire trying to dry off and tended to our chewed up feet.
The little kamikaze ants had drawn blood on almost every foot present and I was in shock that tiny little guys like that could do so much damage. I decided it was time to go to sleep. I had no idea what time it was but I was cold, drunk and tired. I walked back along the path naked to the cabin with my clothes balled up in my arms.