Monday, August 30, 2010
"Do you think our fish is happy?" my wife asked me. I wondered if she was being rhetorical. Can fish be happy? Once I heard their memory spans two whole seconds. Then again, I heard that the spotless mind enjoys eternal sunshine. Memories die hard, like the hammer to a bird's skull. What a shame.
My wife's concern was genuine. Living conditions for our fish were far from ideal. It came to our house in a bag with a brother--birthday presents for Margot. The brother did not survive a week. It is lonesome.
The fish has not one name, but three: Fishy, Fluffy, and Lisa. It is gender-challenged and confused.
And FFL's diet consists of expired food, dropped through a hole in random proportions at random hours of the day. It is malnourished.
Worst of all, the fish tank is covered in scum. Every time I walk by I mentally commit to clean it... on the weekend. My memory spans a whole five days. By the weekend, my mind is spotless and the sun is shining. It is neglected.
Obscured by a green curtain, the fish darts up and down, side to side. Scavenging or forgetting? Exercising or wandering? Who knows? Who cares? It's a fish, not a human soul.
At least we, bipeds on the terrestrial ball, live in ideal situations: never neglected, never malnourished, never confused, never lonesome. Those of us, that is, without a memory.
Create in me a clean heart, God...
Do not cast me away from Your presence... (Psalm 51)