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In A Fishbowl 6/15

In A Fishbowl 6/15 published on 11 Comments on In A Fishbowl 6/15


Larch (narrating): The other day, Tansy mentioned a certain night . . . Mom was doing her thing, Dad always supported Mom’s latest version of reality, us kids were just trying to appease her . . . Tansy full-on walked out. She says — I didn’t know this part! — she’d been planning to break up with me after.

It was dark outside, it was raining . . . I followed her, probably with an umbrella . . . And apparently I yelled the most romantic thing I could’ve said in that moment:

“You think I like dealing with this? Because I don’t!”

I don’t remember this at all! I thought I only accepted “Mom is not just Doing Her Best, she’s messing with us, for control” a year or two before I went no-contact. This was, what, five years ahead of schedule?

It’s really messing with me now. What else did I spend years blocking out?

. . . and, uh, for my good thing, we got married and had two great kids? With a cool aunt who visits them! And two grandparents who don’t.

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Who’s the cool aunt? Did one of Larch’s siblings get out as well?

I note in the picture, Larch is without an umbrella, however he specified ‘probably with’.

Is this:

– Larch leaving out the intended negative part of his statement, like one of my coworkers does frequently

– Larch leaving out the intended negative part of his statement because he’s under stress, like my sister does when she’s under stress

– Larch trying to make other people not worry about his ability to take care of himself, so does his best to claim self care in a situation he knows damned well he’s unlikely to have thought about self-care in. But he doesn’t know for certain because it wasn’t that big of a deal to him.

– The artist depicting what really happened, despite Larch’s hope that he had the presence of mind to bring an umbrella

or

– A mistake

? I feel like it’s probably not the last of those.

I’m reminded of a memory I had walking someone home from the computer lab. It was chilly out, and I was feeling very cold. I had a warm jacket, and still I was chilled to the bone. Not understanding why I felt so cold so early in the fall, I found myself barely able to talk because of how much my teeth were chattering due to my shivering. I distinctly remember apologizing for it and saying I wasn’t sure why I felt so cold.

She let me come into her dorm for a bit to warm up before going to my dorm. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk with her that I didn’t yet realize was once in a lifetime, and I blew it. When I did go home, I was mentally kicking myself for my performance there so much I didn’t even notice the cold.

About 25 years later, I was talking to one of my psychologists, when suddenly it hit me. I knew why I had been so cold as I walked her home but wasn’t cold at all on the way to my dorm. She’d not brought a jacket and had been wearing an outfit that had suggested to me that she’d had a date for dinner and not changed before coming to the computer lab. She was therefore wearing my jacket, and it completely slipped my mind.

So seeing Larch in the rain there kind of reminds me of younger me. Except that I know damned well younger me had an umbrella, it was securely closed and sitting in my backpack beside the towel, so I could show anybody that asked that I did *not* forget my umbrella. I had a ridiculously strong immune system and was not afraid to depend on it. (Um, kids, don’t do that. Ridiculously strong immune systems are actually a key risk factor in getting long form illnesses. On the bright side, we’re finally doing research on figuring out what to do about those. To be clear, no, I didn’t get long covid. I got long something else.)

I don’t know the answer, but I certainly interpreted this as Larch saying “I probably brought an umbrella for Tansy,” but misremembering that he did not, in fact, bring an umbrella for either of them, because he was ALSO so sick of his mother that he just ran out after Tansy, leaving his parents behind. But, much as he failed to remember expressing frustration with his mother’s behavior, he also failed to remember he was frustrated enough with his mother to just leave.

Wait… I just remembered. Didn’t Kale encounter those grandparents? At the not!EuroVision party. I think he had to be talked down from making them just stop doing the stalking thing.

I don’t think Larch was there but uh… whelp.

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