Monday, June 3, 2013

My Stint as a Serial Fish Killer

When I was seventeen I was chased from my own birthday party by drunken friends screaming at me to “put down the fish.” I was sober.
It was one of those giant- joint- parties where nobody knows who is being celebrated. I think perhaps three people knew it was my birthday and I spent most of the party in a corner nibbling a birthday cake I hadn't got to blow the candles out on.
About half way through the night two of my best friends presented me with a gift: a fish tank with three fish named in it.  I forgot the names instantly and stared blankly at the tank wondering what part of my teenage existence said “fish-girl.”
I didn't mention I was scared of fish, thought they were ugly and to the best of my knowledge didn't think they were all that durable. I just sat through the party feeling misunderstood.

Occasionally my friends remembered I was there and then they would look expectantly at me, “don’t you like it?” So I nodded, cursing the fact that I would later need to regale them with fun facts about the fish to prove my appreciation.

Anyway when I tried to leave early with the fish in tow I suddenly got noticed. Some drunk friends of friends thought I was stealing the family fish-tank and abandoned their alcohol fueled debate to chase me. I had to leg it across the garden precariously balancing the life of the three fish in my arms, as my mother looked on baffled.

“Are you stealing your friends fish?”
“No, why does everyone think that?”
“Well…”
“Just drop it,”

I spent the next two weeks doing everything I could to keep the fish alive. I fed them constantly, changed their water daily, and cleaned everything. I was not going to be accused of being ungrateful.
Then I woke up one morning and they were all bent funny and bobbing up and down in the water.

“Well you killed them,”

“Maybe they’re not dead?”

“They are clearly dead.”

The deaths were a relief really. The awkward part was telling my friends. I acted upset though so I thought I’d passed the point where they would ever discover my true feelings towards the fish. Then someone asked where I buried them.

“Oh you know I just flushed them down the toilet.”

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