Monday, January 30, 2006

Artifacts


When I was 17, my family moved from the ghetto-like hovel of West Covina to a little college town called Claremont, the Eastern-most city in Los Angeles County. We moved into a slightly larger home in a substantially nicer neighborhood. The biggest upgrade in the move, however, was going from 1.5 bathrooms to 2.5 bathrooms.

Having the extra bathroom felt opulent, like swimming in pudding. My sister and I still shared a bathroom, but my parents had their own all to themselves.

Unfortunately, after we moved our existing furniture in to the new place, we realized that our stuff looked stretched. We didn't have enough old stuff to fill up the new space, and in my new bathroom, we didn't really have any stuff at all. So, my mother, being domestic as she is, promptly went out to acquire new stuff to fill in the space.

Returning home from school one day, soon after the move, I trudged upstairs to take a shower. (Really, I was probably going up for some nice after-school masturbation, but that's off-topic.) As I opened the door, I detected the sweet floral scent of potpourri, and noticed new fluffy towels arranged in sets, hanging from the various towel racks. Mom had been shopping.

It wasn't bad, really. It was certainly less-bleak, but then... Then... I saw it.

IT!

Pink and green and blue and mauve, big round googly eyes and pouty cartoon lips. It was the fish. It was a frighteningly garish porcelain fish. It was one of the tackiest things I've ever seen. I do believe that my sister actually screamed when she saw it. We though it was a joke. My mother's feelings were hurt.

So, in one of those odd intra-family gestures, we insisted on keeping it, and thanked her for creating such a pleasant floral-country-under-the-sea atmosphere in which for us to bathe...

It looked something like the picture to the right, only it had more blue and mauve in vertical stripes.

Eventually, I moved away to college. To my surprise, while unpacking my meager belongings, i discovered that the fish had found its way into the suitcase. After some explaining (less than you might think) it became a fixture in my dorm-room bathroom, a sort of good-luck totem.

Then I moved back home. The fish came with me. My sister was irked that not only did it come back, but it went back to its place of honor in our bathroom.

College came and went, Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head, and I left California for Oregon to attend law school. As expected, the fish was found hiding in one of my boxes of things. My new roommate actually thought it was cool. He was odd that way. Roommates changed and the fish came along, presiding from bathroom to bathroom, always giving me that all-knowing googly look.

Then came Mrs. G&T. Of course we didn't get married right away. Shacking up and living in sin for years and years, she graciously acquiesced, and the fish moved along with us. It sat over the cast-iron claw-foot tub in the basement apartment in Salem. It was perched over the sink in Lake Oswego. I took the elevated place of honor on a corner shelf built apparently just for it, in the first house that we purchased. But that was to be its final resting place...

Having delayed the master bathroom upgrade for too long, Karma let us know in no-uncertain terms that it was time to get moving. A leaky pipe in the shower led to hole in the shower wall, which led to the discovery of the carpenter ants. Patches of mold blossomed on the ceiling. Then the fish, taking a nose dive from its shelf, busted the toilet tank into shards. The fish, by the way, was completely unharmed.

In the process of gutting and replacing everything, we discovered that a recess was being created in the wall behind the new medicine cabinet. (You see where this is going...) Offering the fish as a sacrifice to the bathroom gods, we placed it, along with a well-sealed letter of vague explanation, in the crevice, and sealed it behind the sturdy new mirrored fixture to sit for eternity, or at least until the next remodel.

The fish has now become someone else's problem. Perhaps, it shall be discovered one day, perhaps not. The irony is, in the new house, the fish would have gone well with the pink and gray hues of our new guest bathroom...

2 comments:

  1. Ooh. New profile pic. I liked the colours in the old one. Though, the Bombay matches the Fish better.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brian Smith10:50 AM

    I used to stare at that fish as...
    Well nevermind

    ReplyDelete

Be compelling.

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