There are a myriad of names I could call you—Little Papaya, minor Oblongata and Action Hero being the most current endearments—but of late you’ve felt so very aquatic and I the aquarium, that it seems inevitable that I revert to the watery, the oceanic.
Let me introduce myself. We are, of course, well acquainted in the most primal of arrangements, but if I’m to understand your orientation correctly I am, at present, merely the invisible water in which you swim. I am the alpha to your omega, the Escher staircase to your stair. I am the mystic flute that you hear but you don’t yet know that the flute has a player. Or that she has a name.
So, a formal introduction: Hello, Little Fish. I’m your mother I am She of the Rubber Room. That’s right, the one you’ve been playing tennis against. I am the deep bass wall that resonates with every thwack and swing of your racket. And let me say, you’re quite the player – merciless – you’d have that gussied, white-trousered Wimbledon crowd on their feet, pulling their hair out like flowers and throwing the strands at your feet.
I’d like to mention that while I know my condolences can never assuage the utter confusion and magic of living in this world, I promise always to stand next to you (in soul, if not in body), with my heart thundering like a freight train. Because even if I wanted to save you from the knives of this world—which I do, but I can’t—I know that it’s inevitable that you will split your spleen against them at times. You will fall occasionally to those medieval humours. You will have your Little Fish heart broken and broken again … and much as I will yearn to superglue you, I know that I can only hand you the needle and thread with which to sew your heart back together. This is the love that I’m to learn, Little Fish. The love of letting you break. The love of letting you run giddy and stumbling into the world without me being there at every moment to protect you.
And I’d like you to know, for the record, that my greatest strength thus far exists in my curiosity about the uncertainties of this world. I do not rail against them and I wouldn’t advise you doing so. It only causes indigestion and it makes the world a much less pretty place. I believe that my father, your grandfather, a southern gentleman with dandyish proclivities had it right. It’s best to sit upon the porch of the world with a glass of cold mint tea and watch the pageantry with awe struck eyes. Only then will the world come to you. Only then will it roll over and break open at your feet.
We’ll meet soon, Little Fish.
Until then, I’ll wait for you on the porch,
with a milk truck idling at my chest.