out of its element

Earth shifter

I came across this monstrosity sitting in the local river this morning, and the word bulldozer wandered through my mind looking for something to connect with.

It reminded me of a transformer; a shape-shifting earth-shifter. I’m not sure what it was doing there other than looking slightly uncomfortable and as if someone had mistaken the nearly dry river bed for a parking space.

Presumably the idea that it was ‘outside its comfort zone’ connected to the ‘parking space’ and triggered thoughts of Spanish and English idiomatic expressions: In English, I might have described it as “like a fish out of water”, but in Spanish como pez en el agua is used to describe a comfortable situation – to be in one’s element.

I’ve never heard anyone talk of un pez fuera del agua; instead, the expression I’m familiar with is como un pulpo en un garaje – like an octopus in a garage. Or, possibly, como una excavadora en un río.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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