#985 + 986 – mobby

My son (2) will often get frustrated when he points to something I can't see - a sign we've driven past, or a book facing away from me - and I'm unable to acknowledge it. I can't apologize for myself in these moments, but I'm legitimately sorry for him; it hurts to be the sole inhabitant of your mind. Eve's fantasy is based on a residual sense that her mother sees what she sees, knows what she knows. It still hurts that her mom has her own life, and is indifferent to things she (for one reason or another) hasn't perceived.

The Pathmark line is a tip to a sort of magical power of older generations, this ability to keep doing things the same way forever, when reality has made those things impossible. It's hard to explain, and this was my attempt at the feeling, both comforting and endlessly unsettling: a muffin from a place that is gone.

8 thoughts on “#985 + 986 – mobby

  1. Ohhh, interesting! I always interpreted those muffins as a sign that maybe Dawn was losing touch with reality, in the way that we all dread might happen with our parents (she bought the muffins months or years ago from a store that's since closed)

    1. I viewed it more as a perverse insistence on doing things they way they've always been done. Like calling it the Sears Tower and Comiskey no matter what corporation has slapped a new name on it this decade.

      1. I agree. My grandmother said she was going down to First National when she meant grocery shopping. She finally stopped saying that about 25 years after the First National had moved out of that location.

  2. Meanwhile in the real world, Eve's mom likely doesn't even remember that they ate at Dominos all the time, let alone that it was gross! That's the kind of shit a parent, even one not going through a divorce, has like zero brain space for.

  3. I remember it feeling really sudden that Eve's mom had aged so visibly. It's something I completely experienced with my Dad. I only visit home maybe once every other year, and one visit it was like someone had snapped their fingers and my dad had gone from being Older Than Me to Old

  4. Ah, I read the Pathmark thing as 'Eve's mum put some homemade cupcakes in an old container, oblivious that technology makes it really easy for Eve to see through the act.' But I guess it doesn't really match her mother's characterization.

  5. its been so interesting rereading these strips with your commentary, meredith. i read much of octopus pie while i was in high school, and at the time i never gave much thought to the relationship between eve and her mother. i guess we're all older now, and i see things i never would have thought about before. with regards to parents, i keep thinking about the bizarre and tragic fact that i will never know exactly what my mother was like when she was at the age that i am now, and likewise that i will never be able to experience being the age that she is now physically alongside her. that comes up a lot for me when i read octopus pie. seeing your comment about your son, and understanding what it is that pains him while still not being able to see what he sees, made me feel emotional in a way i wasnt expecting. i know that this sort of understanding isnt reserved just for parents and children, but that relationship is still especially poignant.
    i hope this doesnt sound weird: we've never met, i doubt we ever will, but sometimes when i revisit this comic i feel like you're a part of that chain for me, too. there are things you wrote years ago im only starting to understand now, and there are things that ive yet to understand, and maybe some i never will. im just a woman listening to what another woman has to say, and sometimes i just find that very comforting, and not to be too melodramatic but it feels like it transcends time and im glad ive gotten to listen.
    on a less sappy note, eve's mouthful of cookie as she wails out "oh mobby!!" gets me every time. me too girl, me too.

  6. Not to rain on anybody's parade here, but there's still a Pathmark on 125th and Lexington near the 6 train. There's at least one left!

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