I first realized that I could be a god at the age of eight. I knew very little about religion at the time. I knew “thou shall not kill,” and the basics, but most importantly, I knew the story of Noah’s Ark.

I was always a tomboy at heart. I preferred bugs, or as I called them—“gubs”, over dolls and dress-up clothes. I had an aquarium full of frogs, toads, worms, and pill bugs. I always wanted to touch. I wanted to know every aspect of every creature. Secretly, I wanted to control them. I wanted to produce joy and pleasure with a touch. I wanted to produce fear with one tap on the glass, but I was always so disappointed when an animal ran away. I cried because the frogs wanted to be alone. They didn’t want me to touch them, even though I believed I could give them immense pleasure by touching their slimy skin. They ran. They hopped. They always wanted to leave. I could not be a god to the frogs and toads.

However, I did realize that I could be the god of ants and other small creatures. I was a vengeful god, a tricky little kid, a villain. I fed the colony of ants that lived in the cracks of our driveway. I spit cough drop juices by them, left opened ketchup packets near their mound of dirt, and placed half-chewed gummy bears on the ground. I would do anything to get them out of the ground and make them flock to me. I pleased them. They were my congregation as I read Highlights articles to them. I thought I was their God, and wasn’t I?

At the time, I didn’t realize ants lack brains. I didn’t know that they didn’t have any thought process to think, “who has brought us food?” No, as a child of eight, I believed I was their God, and I enjoyed their loyalty… I also got bored one day and drowned their colony with my mother’s green garden hose.

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