Like I said, Eyeballs and I don’t see eye to eye half the time. Eyeballs has this unnerving tendency to be oblivious to other people’s feelings (coincidentally, River is the same). Back when I was more subservient and very subtly rebellious, if there is such a thing, I would often answer back very subtly. Eyeballs never really noticed it, though. My angry tone would be a dead calm tone, and paired with that was the I-don’t-want-to-look-at-you-right-now style or simply the avoidance style (which eventually evolved to the silent treatment, which was detectable to Eyeballs, might I add, and still is, whenever I enforce it). There is plenty to say about Eyeballs, but they’re not entirely negative; Eyeballs is Eyeballs after all. Looking back now, I can sort of see the points of why Eyeballs gets angry or why specifically Eyeballs did whatever Eyeballs did. I can probably write a whole book about Eyeballs but lets not focus too much on that right now.
Looking back, I remember when I first learned to really help around the house. I think I was in third grade when Eyeballs taught me how to cook. Steamed rice, fish soups, fried chicken or fish, vegetable cooking stuff. I was too naive back then so I passively went along with all that stuff. Learning how to cook, help with the laundry, and to clean the house. One day, I was told to clean the floor, wax it and make it really shiny. So there I was, spending a good couple of hours sweeping, waxing and using a dried up coconut husk to make the floor super shiny. Then I wiped it off with a rag to clear out the dust from the coconut husk. Now, the wax we used back then was red-coloured so, of course, the floor looked red. I made it so shiny that I could see some reflections on it, and also I was sweating like crazy. I stood up and smiled at my work, basking in the shininess of the floor. I was finally done.
Like an inconsiderate fool that my older sibling was, River came walking down on my shiny red floor, feet wet and dripping from the bathroom. I had forgotten that River was in the house with me. Eyeballs was in Earrings’–one of Eyeball’s older siblings–house, baking cakes for whoever people ordered; that meant Fishie was somewhere there as well. I saw red (no pun intended) and screamed. “Hey!!” I pointed to the floor and the water spots on it. “What?” River asked, and looked to where I pointed. River shrugged those skinny shoulders and said, “So what? It’ll dry.” River looked at me as though I was crazy in even calling out the deed, and then ran off to play somewhere.
Furious with what had happened, I stalked off to Earrings’ house to look for Eyeballs. When I found Eyeballs doing some detailing work with pink icing in the kitchen, I said as grumpily as I could, “River took a shower and walked with wet feet on the floor that I just finished waxing. Now it’s all wet and I have to do it again!” I was expecting Eyeballs to get mad at River, scream and yell, the whole enchalada. It angered me even more when Eyeballs didn’t seem to care. The cake was more interesting than what I had said. “Okay, I’ll talk to him later.” That was it? That was all Eyeballs had? That was all Eyeballs could say? After I put all my effort on making the darn floor shiny, after sweating for about two hours when I could be playing somewhere, that was all I got? This is probably the first sign of leniency toward River that I should have picked on but I was a kid who knew nothing of the sort.
Fuming with anger and disbelief, I then developed a dislike for River when it came to household chores and responsibilities in the house. River gets away with everything and I get away with nothing. When River does something and it’s half assed, he gets scolded. When I do something half assed on purpose, not because I was lazy, I get scolded, then I would have to do it again and probably more since I’m doing something already. Fishie was too small to be of any help so I got stuck with most of it. Dusting the figurines, cleaning out the shoe racks, folding clothes and other annoying household chores. Back then, I felt jealous of my cousins Milk, Hairy, and Brains; they are Earrings & Boss’ kids. They had maids to do all the housework for them.
For the longest time, I looked upon Earring & Boss’ household as the perfect way to live. Maids everywhere, lots of toys for the kids, lots of new stuff, big house, etc, etc, etc. I silently wished that someday I would have my own maid, too. Little did I know back then how vastly this point of view was about to change.
(To be continued…)