Author’s note: I wrote this a while back trying to put down some of what I was going through that has since been resolved. I post it here so that you all can come in to my world a little deeper and realize that for all the love that Jon and I share, it’s nowhere near perfect, and not only is it not easy, sometimes it’s damn hard. We all have our paths. I believe that now more than ever. When we begin these journeys, I am convinced that if we knew where they would take us, many of us wouldn’t have the courage to begin, including me. But thank God for that ignorance. Without it, hundreds of thousands of good things never would have come about. I believe that, too.
There are times in life when if we knew where the road would take us or had the faith to trust our friends that we wouldn’t end up in the messes we create. This is not one of those times.
A little over a year ago, Jon thoughtfully purchased an aquarium for me on my birthday because my poor fish was swimming around in a bucket for half the month. (I’d change the water in the fishbowl and put him into the bucket for safekeeping and then leave him there, because, hell, isn’t that just easier? It’s more water than was in his fishbowl, I rationalized. I do that. I’m a justifier.)
So I put Mr. Fish (whose name escapes me at the moment) in the tank and look! There he is swimming around. I think he was happy in his new digs, but I also thought he must be horribly lonely — more of my own particular brand and blend of crazy coming out.
So I bought more fish.
Looking at this photo, I am shocked! Were they ever that small? The guy at the pet store warned me not to put four fish in a 7-gallon tank, but do you think that he could have told me that was because the bottom one was going to grow to be the size of a potato? He literally takes up a third of the tank when he’s floating in the middle.
I’m afraid that I’m going to have to buy him a bigger tank. Or flush him. But he’s pretty much too big to be flushed now and the pet store doesn’t want him back and I can’t, in good conscience, put him outside in the pond knowing that he won’t survive the winter. What’s a girl to do? (As if I didn’t have enough to worry about already.)
Last night, after an emotional conversation with Jon, I noticed that the fish who is second from the top in the above picture (the only one left, unfortunately, besides Jaws, as Big Man has come to be named) — he was lodged in the plastic plant.
What the hell, I thought, and I started crying some more, which really worried Smokey and he was trying to climb me to lick my tears off. Good boy.
I thought he (Little Fish) was dead and then realized that he wasn’t; his little fish lips were still moving.
“God dammit, Jon,” I cried in frustration. “It’s like that Chinese energy thing. One of our fish is dying now to absorb the negative energy.”
He came over and put his arms around me. I cried a little more.
Then he looked at the fish — the little one, not the potato-sized one.
“He’s missing his tail,” he said. “And a bunch of his top. The big one’s been eating him.”
“What?!” I started crying all over again.
So I ran and got the bucket, filled it with water, fishbowl salt and the drops that are supposed to dechlorinate the water. I was afraid to put him in before the 20-minute waiting period was up for fear of killing him with cold water, but I also didn’t want him to keep being lunch for the now appropriately-named Jaws.
Jon said he would take care of it.
I was grateful and went to bed.
This morning when I was leaving for work I checked on Little Fish, and he’s not doing so well. He’s missing really big chucks of him, and I’m scared that he won’t be there when I get home tonight.
But then I think, why am I crying over a fish?
And then I realize that I’m not. And that’s even harder.
So I’m breathing today and trying to honor the sanctity of what Jon’s soul is saying and what my soul is saying.
I grew up in fog, so I’m used to driving through it without fear. I knew the roads. These roads I don’t know very well, but I’m trying to implement all I have learned in the last 10 years and really, truly put it into practice.
Know that you are loved.
Because at the end of the day, not a one of us is promised tomorrow, not even — or perhaps, especially — Little Fish.