Recovered Memory
August 21, 2007

When I was at the Shedd Aquarium a few summers ago, I was entranced with the seahorses. I've always loved them, but I know a lot of fish enthusiasts who just despise the things. For a long, long time, I had a dried seahorse that was one of my special kid-possessions. I don't know when I finally lost it or got rid of it, but I remember still having it as a teenager - it probably went in the great purge of summer '84.

And then, while looking at the photos from the Shedd, I suddenly remembered back to when I was two or three - Dad had an aquarium with a seahorse in it. I could clearly remember sitting, utterly spellbound. There are no lights on in the house except the almost blue glow of the aquarium light. My mom is sound asleep in my parents' room (dad's at work) and I'm watching the seahorse bob in and out of the plants in the aquarium. Three of the sides are just covered in plants, but the center of the aquarium's front is open. More plants sparsely spot the middle of the aquarium and I'm sitting on my knees, the nasty 70s shag carpeting leaving red imprints in my kneecaps, watching as he bobs around. I could stay there all day.

When Mom finally wakes up, she shuffles into the den with her lit cigarette and startles when she sees me. "What are you doing in here in the dark?"

I don't answer. It's between me and my seahorse.

I don't remember when the seahorse died -- I assume the dried one I had was probably that same one from Dad's aquarium. The aquarium was probably emptied when we moved. I didn't see it come out again until Dad decided to put it in my room and fill it with minnows so he could go fishing and always have live bait.

Funny. I haven't thought about that in ages and ages, even though I've always said that I liked seahorses. I didn't remember that right after seeing the seahorses at the Shedd. Took a few days and it suddenly just popped into my head, kind of out of nowhere. But now, it's so clear. I can't remember much of anything about the house, the room that we were in ... just the aquarium and "my" seahorse.

Weird how that works.

Posted by Red Monkey at August 21, 2007 11:32 AM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

ON a totally unrelated note... are my ears burning? :)

August 21, 2007 11:19 PM

I love forgotten memories like that!

August 21, 2007 11:22 PM


Theresa111 said:

Don't you just love those little memory boosts? I too have always been fascinated by seahorses. Even remember touching and feeling a dried one, as you had. Holding then gently moving my fingers over it's little silent body, so as to remember the ridges, in my mind. What a lovely story. I could feel the imprint of the shagg carpeting.

August 22, 2007 1:33 AM


Damien Riley said:

This is an excellent post on memory. I have had some moments like that and your post brought it back.

August 25, 2007 6:32 PM
Free Pixel Advertisement for your blog