Because Iíve withstood signing up for a Google account up until now, Iíve posted here rather than there. Do as you wish with this little ditty I now provide for you.
This is an image of The University of Texas turtle pond. No pictures of turtles, just a possible habitat for them. This image also stands in for my general outlook on the species.
As harbingers of death and generally not so good omens, death being one of them.
I asked my mother once if I could have a pet turtle. She said no. She said no good luck ever came of them, and that you could expect death looming around the corner if you brought them to an asian household. Besides, they were fairly disgusting slimy creatures carrying all sorts of diseases, why would I want a turtle when I could have a fish. Fish meant luck and money and they were much easier to care after. I didnít really believe my mother, but I did believe even at such a young age my motherís potential to plop down dead to prove me wrong. So, I didnít push the subject. And, eventually I got a beta fish.
Many moons, and many dead beta fish later, I was a freshman at the University of Texas. I discovered the turtle pond one day as a relaxing spot to have my lunch, take a study break, a place to actually study after taking the study break, and generally a nice calming place to visit for any general purpose. Turtles lived there and never caused me any harm when I came to visit, so I reevaluated my motherís information on turtles as I watched them glide in and out of the water.
Spring semester, I took a physics class that I had no business taking. I had to spend a lot of time with a tutor for that class during that semester. One afternoon, I agreed to meet him at the library near the pond for a tutorial session. During the break, the both of us went to the turtle pond to have a cigarette. In between drags, he makes a queer comment about how sad that such a calming little setting is clouded with such misery. I pushed him for more information, but all he told me was to look out for someone who comes there day after day without school books or any other belongings. They usually donít have the best looks on their faces and when they come there to think, itís not the best of thoughts. Eventually, they get tired of thinking at the turtle pond, and start doing their thinking at the UT Towerís observation deck. Considering UTís long history with that observation deck, and itís penchant to encourage people to shoot people from it or jump right off of it, I gathered this wasnít a good sign.
A few visits to the pond afterwards, I started noticing the people I had completely overlooked before. Standing half glazed over the water, I began to imagine the tiny turtles were summoning these lost souls into their watery depths. I eventually had to stop going there completely, because my happy place wasnít so happy after all. Plus, I was failing Physics, so also figured that it wasnít the best place for me to be studying after all. Go figure, my mother might have been on to something.
Moral of the story: Turtles are indeed cool. They manage to mask a dark and ominous potential under a general reputation for being slow and stupid. Too balance cute with evil hand in hand is fairly awe inspiring, and thatís pretty cool and wonderful in my book.
Posted by Khanh on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 1:25 AM