Today’s literary phrase (in the title, in case you’re confused) is courtesy of my roommate, during a discussion on perspective. We were talking about how intensely sad (or joyful) something can be at the time, but as time passes, the intensity fades, until it’s almost unbelieveable you ever felt that way.
My roommate used the analogy of a child being sad about the death of his pet fish: He’s heartbroken at the time, but remembering the experience as an adult doesn’t carry the same weight. It may still be a sad memory, but it’s not a tragedy.
At this point in the conversation my rommate pauses, and I, wanting to sum up, volunteer, “So the past is a guppy?” Which effectively ends all deep thoughts in the conversation but was fun to say.