Saturday, April 4, 2015

"share a childhood memory"

Something happened earlier today that revived a memory from childhood that I had long kept hidden and locked in a vault in the deepest part of my mind.

I won't go into what happened today but I will share with you the memory that came back to life as a result of what happened today.

I was maybe 7 or 8 years old at the time. I was playing with some toys at the upstairs living room of our old house. I don't think anyone was home at the time, I don't recall any of my family members being around. It was day time because I remember the smell of sunshine permeating the house and as I type this, I am recalling the smell of food in the air. It was fried fish. Our maid at the time was cooking lunch downstairs and had left me to play with my toys.

My sister had a couple of hamsters. Cute, fluffy little things. Cream coloured fur with tiny, dark brown globes for eyes. They had the most beautiful face, their snouts constantly in motion, sniffing everything the eyes could and couldn't see. My sister didn't like me touching her things, she was a teen then, going through puberty and we all know how that feels like. We were always fighting, I bit her a lot, I remember. One time I even bit her gold necklace off of her neck and she locked herself in her room all day. I hated her and I suspected she hated me. But like all younger sibling, you cannot help but be fascinated by everything your older sibling owned and I was jealous that she had had a couple of cute little hamsters.

Seeing as no one was home, I sneaked into her room and took her tiny little rodents out of their cage and played with them. I made them homes out of legos and fed them veggies that I made my maid cut into tiny hamster-bite sized pieces. I remembered having a good time playing with them when my maid called me to lunch. I left my mess on the living room of the second floor and went downstairs to eat.

The fried fish was delicious, I love fish. Fish always make for a great meal. I watched tv downstairs while I ate my dessert (cut watermelons with some sweetened condensed milk) as the maid washed the dishes.

A few hours later, I went back upstairs to clean up the mess of legos and a plethora of toys that I'd made when I realised that I'd left the hamsters unmanned as I went to lunch. I had always been a forgetful, clumsy child and I grew up into an even more forgetful and clumsy adult. As a result of my lack of proper observation, I had left the hamsters in a air tight container and left them there. It had been a few hours since I placed them in there (why I did it in the first place, I had no idea. I was a morbidly depressed child, it is possible that on a subconscious level, I knew what I was doing but I can no longer recall) and I removed the lid of the container to see these two cream coloured fluff bundled up together: dead. Their snouts no longer pointed at the air and sniffing the scents of that warm day, instead they faced the ground, with their bodies flat in a sleeping position. It was beautiful in a sad kind of way.

I don't remember how I felt when I saw them but I remember being so afraid afterwards. Afraid because it was the first time I had killed something that was not ants, afraid because my sister would kill me, afraid because I had become a murderer and felt no sense of remorse. The only thing feared for was myself. So instead of telling my maid about them, I took the hamsters back to their cage, covered them in some of the wood shavings (like they would if they were asleep) and left them there for my sister to find.

I thought nothing about it until the next day when my sister told us that her hamster had died and that it looked like they died in their sleep. I'm sure that however I reacted to her announcement, I must have stuck out like a sore thumb. Maybe she even suspected that I killed them but why would she have any reason to think that a 7 year old girl would kill her pet hamsters when I knew she loved them dearly. I breathed a sigh of relief when she buried the hamsters out in our yard and we hardly spoke of those little things again (she got a couple of new ones not long after).

To my knowledge, she still doesn't know how her hamsters died and I have never thought of telling her about the incident, not even now that I suddenly have recollection of that incident. I don't know if I will ever tell her, maybe I'll include this little anecdote in my will for when I off myself but eitherway, I wasn't haunted by it nor do I feel a strong sense of remorse.

Today, I could have taken a life but here I am, blogging about my childhood memory. Perhaps I am a monster of sorts and that terrifies me almost as much as it excites me.


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