376 first dates

Posted: September 15, 2007 in Personal

It has been a few days now, since my goldfish – Splatter – fell ill. When I woke up last Thursday morning and checked up on Splatter, he was almost half out of water. His eye abnormally stuck out of water and each time he changed course, his belly protruded out. He floated awkwardly like a buoy bobbing superficially on the calm waters of his pool.

I spent three long hours staring helplessly at him. He was writhing in pain (at least to me, it seemed that he was). The sight depressed me immensely. I was frustrated and almost burst out, ‘Why do you not tell me what is wrong with you? I can help!’ After a few quick calls to my cousins and a confirmed diagnosis from Google, I knew that my baby was suffering from severe indigestion. I would have to starve him for a couple of days and then put him on a fiber-rich diet.

I could hardly concentrate on my course or homework and spent almost all my time near his bowl for the next few days. I could see Splatter swimming around in the water. He was getting better. He responded well each time I fed him. The morning after, he was carelessly making his usual rounds of the bowl, and I again blurted out, ‘Did you even know you were sick just a few hours back?’

And then, it struck me. He can only retain events that occur in a span of 15 minutes. He probably does not recall the great peril he was in, not too long ago. Yesterday was eons away for him. And here I was, still reeling from the episode. He may not even have an idea that he has been going round and round the same bush every day and I am the same person as yesterday and the day before, who has been feeding him. I tapped on the glass to feed him. Sadness took me. I looked into his eyes and muttered, ‘Would you ever remember me?’ Splatter held my gaze for a second too long, his round black eyes boring into mine. He gave a light shrug with his flaring translucent tail and turned to complete his rounds.

  1. Polaris says:

    I love the title of this post. Indeed, that is what they are – first dates, over and over again.

  2. swatirane says:

    Splatter died today. The Shubunkin’s great fan tail was limp when I woke up this morning. I tried to nudge him knowing fully that he would not respond. The sun still mourns under the veil of the clouds. The clouds have leaked all through the morning… so have my tears.

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