Monday, August 6, 2007

When it's late, and it's hot
And an hour in the shower is the best that you've got...

It's no secret that I have some strange fears. I'm afraid of closed shower curtains and finding homeless people in dumpsters. Probably the strangest fear, the one which makes everyone say "Whaa? Ha ha ha"- is fish. This was me before going to the Oklahoma Aquarium on Friday-Mark, on the other hand, apparently likes fish. As you can see, he's obviously rather excited to be hanging out with some huge scary looking alligator gar-

I've slowly been trying to conquer this fear. It's not so much of a phobia that it destroys my life, but it would be so much easier to go to the seafood section of a grocery store or to go to a pet store. I spent my time at the aquarium breathing deeply and taking the occasional fish break by heading over to the sting-ray tank to look at creatures that don't create a panicked feeling within my chest. Well, until one of the sting-rays tried to jump out of the tank. I might have screamed...just a little.

Perhaps more important than conquering this fear, to me, is understanding it. So here's my attempt-

First of all, fish in the supermarket scare me because they are a dead thing in their whole form, yet they don't look dead. Ew. That would give anyone the heebie-jeebies I think. I mean come on, they have creepy eyes!

Secondly, and probably what scares me more is fish out of water. The idea that this creepy looking thing is going to die flopping and gasping and I don't know what to do and I won't want to pick it up and I won't be able to because it's flopping and....uggggghhhhhhhhhh.....

My fear is amplified by the idea that a living being will be suffering and I will be unable to help it because I am afraid.

So I breathe and remember that things will happen that are beyond my control. Creatures will live and die and the cycle of life will continue and fish aren't going to jump out of aquariums to attack me. (Homeless people are another story! ;-) Kidding...kidding).

I even found a fish I liked at the aquarium and Mark and I sat down for awhile to watch him and a whole bunch of other fish in the ocean reef tank. As silly as it was, I was pretty proud of myself. Here he is-

I picked him because he looked rather like a pillow I have on my futon...scary mouth and all.
Baby steps.


Themindtaker said...

Whoever would have thought that your pillow was an actual fish? And now that I'm thinking about it-- whoever would have thought that you'd hang on to that creepy pillow for so long. ;)

I've always liked fish (the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of the coolest places I've ever been), but that little mouth on your fish pillow even freaks me out...

PeterAtLarge said...

I'm with you, Lindsey. I prefer birds... though the beaks are, well, sharp and pointy, no? Thanks for checking in with The Buddha Diaries. Cheers, PaL

Anonymous said...

Remind me to tell you the story of when i was sick in D.C. ... I promise it has relevence to the post.

Sooo... you're not fond of fish but you were ok with the creature that could potentially hurt/kill you? Ok... so I probably just added to the fear, but that little bit just made me laugh a smidge. They're really fun to swim with though in a big school. They feel really really cool as they swim past your legs.

I never had a fear of fish, water yes, but not fish. I cured it by snorkeling; for curing the fear of fish I don't personally suggest that method. I think the aquarium method is a good start :)