Saturday, October 6, 2007

About a Fish

When I was a freshman at USC I spent a very brief time in a sorority. It wasn't for me so I quit. There were two girls, Helen & Kathy, who still liked me despite my leaving.

Kathy once asked me to watch her fish because she was going abroad for a few weeks. She explained it wasn't difficult. I explained that I had a history of accidentally killing small pets: innumerable gerbils, hamsters, and fish. She told me not to worry, I just needed to make sure the temperature read some degree, and that the fish was fed twice a day, I think. The water heater was already set to the degree it was supposed to be at, and a pinch of food in the morning would take care of it till evening.

Well, the fish died. It appeared that the poor creature was cooked. Not only that, I cracked the aquarium as I was trying to clean it out postmortem. I think the most awkward moment of my life was handing her an empty, cracked, aquarium with the plastic plants, pink rocks, and heating device neatly wrapped up inside.

Although Mark always tells me it's irrational, I'm often bothered by the seeminly inconsequential things I remember. I think I remember the stupid and the awkward events of my life because I have a lingering fear that someone else has too.

So it was with no particular surprise that my dear friend, Susan, of twenty plus years, bluntly informed me, "You know, we never thought Rose was going to live this long...You remember all those hamsters that died? One after the other, after the other...and remember Kathy's fish?"
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