• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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What the puddles tell me

It all started the day of my daughter’s wedding. Actually, it started long before that. But that was the day I couldn’t hide it anymore. It was the rainiest day of the year. So, of course it was the day that everyone found out about my strange affliction.

I don’t think it’s too unreasonable a problem. Can’t I be left alone to indulge? Can’t I, for once in my life, be the awkward person? I’ve never been too fussy, I’ve always been sensible, quick to bend to the needs of others and their particular anxieties, all the while staying quiet about mine, not wanting to be a bother. Somehow it all counts for nothing. The one time I show a weakness I’m the one who needs help. I’m the one with the problem. I’m the unreasonable one. And I know it’s true, because that’s what the puddles tell me, too.

Sometimes all it takes is a small pool of water on the ground to make you realise who you’ve become. Have you ever walked around thinking you were someone completely different, only to have a puddle shatter everything you thought to be true, everything you thought you were? Have you ever suddenly and rudely been jolted you out of your peaceful slumber and forced you to face the great change that has occurred? That you are not who you once were. It leads one to wonder if you ever were that person at all. Different to mirrors, which you can learn to face at the preferred angles—the most dishonest, the ones you know will work best for prolonging the illusion—puddles provide a sudden, unexpected, candid view of yourself, from the most unflattering of angles. Just a glimpse can be enough to give you pause, to make you stop, reflect, and experience the most horrific realisations. Just a glimpse is enough to tell you so much more than any person would.


What the puddles tell me

This was true, at least, until the incident. Now I’m subject to everyone’s true thoughts and opinions about all aspects of myself. It was bad enough hearing it from the puddles, I don’t need to hear it from people who are supposed to love me. I don’t need to hear from my offspring who I raised and sacrificed everything for to tell me that I ruined everything by not being there on the most important day of her life. There are several adjectives I would use to describe the ceremony of binding myself to a brutish pig of a man three times my age for the rest of my life, and “important” is not one of them. She’ll learn, one day. Here’s hoping she’ll catch a glimpse of herself in a puddle while holding that man’s gargantuan, hairy hand and the truth will crash over her.

So, I don’t like puddles. Could you tell?

I don’t think I’m too unreasonable. I just hate who I’ve become.