Revelations that come in a supermarket (wip)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
@me youre so fake deep

Submitted: March 20, 2016

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Submitted: March 15, 2016

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When my age could still fit onto the fingers of my two small hands and I could not be trusted to stay home by myself, my mom would take me along with her to the supermarket to stare at soft, white rolls of paper towels and beaming yellow boxes of cereal lining infinite shelves. We would work our way through the jungle of canned everything and bagged everything else, and sometimes she would let me push the cart. Eventually we'd emerge from an aisle of condiments to arrive at a maze of cold meats and, at the very end, I would see the icey piles of clams and oysters and fish sitting but never seeming to be bought, like there was no point in taking them out of the ocean in the first place. Though our family was never big on seafood, I was determined to stop by the fishy counters with each visit to the supermarket. The main attraction of the entire building, which by itself was so crammed with amazing and wonderful things, was a tank of dull water standing quietly near the seafood register. I would shyly ask my mom to go look, and while she investigated slabs of cow I made my way to the fantastic glass box filled with water and - there, I could see them moving! - clumps of charming red claws and wiggling antennae and slowly, very slowly moving spiny feet, piled on top of each other in one big mountain of lobsters. And then I would pick them apart one by one until I had admired them all, and each of them was special to me. The medium one in the back to the right with the blue bands, he sat still for the longest time of any of them, but if you stared long enough you could see his antennae moving back and forth every few seconds. And the one in front of him, with the orange bands - they keep them from pinching, you know - he's trying to climb on top of the smaller one and it's funny to me because he's so clumsy. And for a minute or two I surround myself with cold, damp smells and gray blue walls as I marvel at my own private aquarium, until mom has finished picking out the perfect piece of meat after five minutes of careful consideration, and we make our way to the deli, where maybe, just maybe, she'll give me a slice of ham or turkey or cheese as a reward for my coming along.
My grandma worked in the store, like she does now, as a friendly hand-outer of demo crackers and creams and dips. Sometimes we'd find her working and my mom would stop to chat. And I remember one time when she saw me crying as my mom picked me up and shushed me.
I can't remember a lot of things that happened when I was young that I apparently should remember now, but I remember this. I remember looking at my slowly scrambling collection of pets through the glass and the thought that ocurred to me then: Why would they keep lobsters in a supermarket? I wondered why I hadn't asked this before. So as my mom came along to lead me to the deli, I asked her, "Why do they have lobsters here?"
And she replied, probably quite simply, "So that people can see them and pick them."
And I probably asked again, "Pick them for what?"
"So they can eat them."
It must not have dawned on my mother that I had not realized that people ate these lobsters and didn't just keep them around for their entertainment. It certainly hadn't dawned on me that these innocent little things crawling around were just waiting to be picked and plucked and wrapped up and sent home to their ultimate demise, but all of this hit me just then. Suddenly, the tank was no longer a place of wonder, but a cold prison cell, or a death trap, or some twisted exhibit, and I wanted to take them all home with me and keep them safe. I felt guilty for being so amused as they walked over each other because they had no room. So, naturally, I sobbed, as a child might do if they are told quite plainly that there is no Santa (but luckily I still had that lie to grasp onto).
That was when my grandma found us and pitied my hysterical condition and asked what was wrong.
"Ohhh, she just found out where the lobsters go," my mom said, and I heard her laugh a little. At this, I felt such strong offense and betrayal that my wailing and mourning for a few soon-to-be-dead lobsters grew even louder. She had the nerve to joke about the entire thing, and I was intensely distraught.
Grandma maintained her sympathy, as far as I can recall. Maybe she sensed this first call to reality that began the deterioration of my childish innocence. Yes, my discovery of the consumption of lobsters was simply an omen for what was to come.
I've eaten two or three lobsters since then.
This is not me advocating for the rights of crustaceans. This is me considering the world and why it makes me mad.

I'm mad because when I was younger, I worshipped lobsters and I could barely fall asleep on Christmas Eve and I was ten times more excited about everything than I am now. At that age the beauty of the world was so apparent and not only contained in pictures of the grand canyon and the northern lights. It was in ladybugs and puddles and lobsters.

I just wish I could see those lobsters again without thinking about them on a plate. 


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