Not long ago, I sat on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico, with my feet buried in the sand, a pink beverage and Paul Beatty’s Slumberland in my hands, and the gentle rush of waves lapping on the beach in my ears. On one side was my wife, the other a mischievous crow intently eyeballing our plate of chips and guacamole. I felt like I had stumbled into one of those utopian Corona ads.
Then an ant crawled across the page I was reading. I flicked it away, as it dawned on me that my little slice of paradise had a slight flaw: Since our first vacation to Cozumel two years ago, a pretty substantial colony of anthills had sprung up near a grassy patch at the edge of the beach, leading to harmless but annoying ants scrambling all over the sand. Given my extreme dislike of insects, it was like arriving in heaven, but learning that Joan Rivers was your neighbor and your house has really thin walls.
Still, no amount of insects could ruin a honeymoon that stood as the light at the end of a fairly arduous tunnel.