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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Last Duck in my Swan Collection

I finally threw the duck away.  This duck has traveled with me from childhood in boxes of Christmas stuff.  A ceramic duck with a couple of ducklings wearing santa hats.  Every Xmas, I pull it out of the box so that I can get to the ornaments and other stuff and then I tuck it back in until the end of the season.  Then I pull it out, pack all the xmas stuff back up and drop it back into the box.  No xmas ever have I considered putting it out on display.  It makes me nauseous looking at it.

My mother decided I should have a collection of ducks when I was a kid.  So she bought me a bunch of ducks.  Later, much later, I asked her why ducks.  She said she remembered them being swans.    They weren't.  They were definitely ducks. Most of them got lost along the way.  I remember, I used to have a really gaudy gold planter duck that I inherited from mother.  It wasn't gaudy at the time... in the 80s.  I mean, well, everything was gaudy at the time.  This duck was normal.  I also had a white porcelain set of a big duck and a small duck.  There was definitely a pattern of lots of mother ducks with baby ducks.  Oops... I just threw up a little in my mouth.

So anyways, today, I snapped a picture of the duck and then I threw it away.  The last duck of the swan collection my mother populated with mothers and babies on my behalf.  I think I took the picture out of habit... I do that with things that I don't want to keep around but that have some sort of memory attachment to them.  But really, I think when I look at the picture now, it's more an oddity than memory.  What a weird fucking thing.

Throwing this away is like ridding myself of one more vestige of sentiment I'll never revisit : I will not ever have daughterly feelings about a motherly mother; one more piece of 'polite' I have no need for : I don't need to pretend that the mother/daughter relationship has meaning outside of it's emotional value; one more expectation of society that I don't believe in : I will not grow out of it.

I thought for a few moments, as I put the dishes away, about how, rather than our relationship getting better with time, I've only become more clear about the nature of the relationship, as I make decisions involved in parenting my own son.  Then I drove to work.

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