I had a pet fish — let me backtrack. My son had a pet fish because my youngest brother had a pet fish. My son’s fish was a goldfish; my brother’s a piranha (one of three, but after cannibalism, one memorable piranha was left).
Recalled after writing the Mexico posts because it happened on my return from one of the trips to Mexico, and I am going through notes and anywho — where to begin. Think out of order makes sense, I already started in the middle:
My son (I will venture he was about nine) won a goldfish at a carnival. My husband said, “Don’t let him get attached to it. It’ll probably die in a few days.” 1) How do I control someone else’s feelings? 2) Why? 3) The fish lived for years 😂. Anyway, I spoiled part of the story already.
So I waited a week before purchasing the smallest bowl I could find. The poor fish was invisible in dirty water in my son’s room, so we moved the bowl to the ½ bath on the first floor. Inevitably, I took care of the fish. It was disgusting to see him in dirty water or hungry. How does a fish look hungry, you say? Walk into a bathroom where there’s a hungry fish, and you will know. Anyway, my son asked me if he could name him Terminator — he also toyed with Arnold. I said it was his fish, then told him a story about one of my brothers who had owned fish.
he had three piranhas in a large fish tank
Even though they were in the den room, they were nearly invisible because the water was so dirty. However, I remember my brother feeding them deli ham once in a while and the fish jumping for it. I don’t know how long they were there or how long it took for one to survive, but the survivor’s name was Chuck. Don’t ask, I didn’t.
During a massive spring cleaning, the fish tank had to go. We had all cleaned our rooms too, spring cleaned them! My brother’s room had a navy blue carpet — it had been previously mine. The room =). We sat down to eat, famished and tired of cleaning, the house pristine. Shortly after, we heard a scream 😱 and ran up the stairs. Seems Chuck thought the rug was the sea and took a dive, and by the time my brother went upstairs, it was too late. End of Chuck. Or so we thought.
sometime later (don’t remember if it was weeks or months),
the fridge and freezer were being cleaned out. And we heard a scream. 🤣 Chuck was in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer. I told my son the story, and he immediately renamed the goldfish Chuck.
So Chuck lived and survived in the little bathroom. We bought other companions, but they didn’t last more than two days. He survived for years, even when we went on vacations. I nicknamed him Chocolat. Don’t know why. It just happened. I traveled a lot at the time and, I kid not, when I walked in the house, the fish would splish and splash. I usually peeked in and said, “Hey, Chocolat!” It is so weird to write it. I can’t believe I did that. I am so not a pet person. He became the subject of many conversations and jokes when people were over the house.
“do you still have that fish?” | “that fish was looking at me”
I’m sure you can imagine. So, what happened after one of the trips to Mexico? I walked by the bathroom and heard no splashing. I went in and turned on the light. The bowl was empty. I walked to the kitchen, still remember what I wore — is that stinking strange?, and asked my husband, “What happened to Chuck?”
“Javier didn’t tell you?”
“No.” I was like, I just got home from Mexico. This was over twenty-five years ago, cell phones were rare.
“He found him on the counter when he got home from school. It was too late.”
this had happened before, but we just plopped him back in the bowl
“Did you put him back?”
“It was too late.”
“So what did you do?”
“We flushed him.” Notice the we.
I don’t remember anything after that except going to see the bathroom renovation upstairs, still wearing the snug black dress and black and white heels, but I recall being sad. Whaaat, me? So I refused any other animals in the house because I knew that 1) I would end up being its care-taker, 2) I didn’t want to deal with losing another anything 🙅🏽♀️ that I didn’t want in the first place. So, now I have flowers, and they go in the compost when they die — not in the trash or toilet. Or freezer. 😄