Ollie, Melody’s pet goldfish who is stuck swimming circles in his bowl, reminds Melody of the way she is trapped in her own body. Just like Melody, he can open and close his mouth but can’t say a word. Eventually, Ollie jumps out of his bowl, which leads Melody to assume he’s fed up with his life. The covers of many editions of Out of My Mind have a picture of a goldfish leaping out of its bowl, which partially refers to Ollie, but also to Melody, who dreams of expressing herself and escaping the confines of her body. Melody’s inability to save Ollie when he jumps out of his bowl also symbolizes Melody’s general feelings of powerlessness. Worried that her fish will die, Melody can’t put him back in, and she can’t explain to her Mom what has happened. Melody often has difficulty communicating thoughts and emotions she urgently feels, from wanting to get a Happy Meal to trying to warn her mother that Penny has run out behind their car.
Fish Quotes in Out of My Mind
There’s an alphabet strip at the top, so I can spell out words, and a row of numbers under that, so I can count or say how many or talk about time. But for the majority of my life, I’ve had the communication tools of a little kid on my board. It’s no wonder everybody thinks I’m retarded. I hate that word, by the way. Retarded.
I like all the kids in room H-5, and I understand their situations better than anybody, but there’s nobody else like me. It’s like I live in a cage with no door and no key. And I have no way to tell someone how to get me out.
Ollie spent all day long swimming around that small bowl, ducking through the fake log, and then swimming around again. He always swam in the same direction. The only time he’d change his course was when Mom dropped a few grains of fish food into his bowl each morning and evening. I’d watch him gobble the food, then poop it out, then swim around and around once again. I felt sorry for him.
At least I got to go outside and to the store and to school. Ollie just swam in a circle all day. I wondered if fish ever slept. But any time I woke up in the middle of the night, Ollie was still swimming, his little mouth opening and closing like he was trying to say something.