Sunday, March 06, 2005

I killed Luke on Wednesday. It was an accident really. His cage was so dirty. I just had to clean it. All the oxygen had risen to the top to form yellow clumps of dirty bubbles. It was embarassing and negletful. Besides, I'd already cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, litter box and bathtub. It had been a stressful evening, and I hadn't cleaned all the angst out of my system yet! So I took Luke's bowl to the sink. But after I changed his water, I realized I didn't know where the water purifying bottle was. Did I leave it at my former abode on Knight Circle? Had I placed it in some strategic location only to forget where? Shit-fire. And it was after 9pm, Petco was closed, and I had no choice but to wait until morning to buy some more.

So Thursday came and I went to school, worked all day - even went to the grocery store (located right beside the pet store), knowing that there was something important I needed to buy . . . milk! I had been unable to have cereal that morning because I was out of milk. And what was that other thing . . . oh yeah, Q-tips. I can't live without Q-Tips. And something else . . . what was it? Oh well, I'll get it next time. After all, the grocery store is just a two minute walk away.

That evening after dinner with KC, we went into my room so I could lie down (the week in general had been rather dreadful). But as I sat on my bed, I peered into Luke's clean cage and didn't see him. Panicing, I scoped the cage fearing that the cats had somehow scooped him out. It was then that I saw Luke at the bottom, belly up. The previous evening came back to me in a blur . . . bad news from home, a serious of tears, extreme cleaning episode to combat the fear, no purifying drops for his water, a thought to go to the pet store right after school the next day, the trip to the grocery store instead . . . shit! I killed my fish!

I threw myself on the bed, mustering a few more tears out of my already tired eyes. Just last May I had accidentally killed my two pet hermit crabs (I'd forgotten to water them), and now I'd gone and killed my poor beta! Damn!

Feeling horrible, I called Emily. After all, my dear cat Radley had eaten her goldfish just last year (no ill intent on his part, he just saw the fish in the unprotected bowl and saw a tasty, fresh afternoon snack - story for another time). She wasn't terribly sympathetic, I believe her exact phrase was, "well your ******* cat ate my ******* fish, so I'm glad!" That didn't go over well, so I called my former roommates: "Luke-Roger died." "Oh, we're sorry - do you want us to buy you another fish?"

Thankfully KC had disappeared during these conversations and reappeared with a nerds-necklace (a string of nerd candy all stuck together - gross!) and a beautiful but red beta. Seeing my pain, he had given Luke a ride "on the porcelein express" and run across the street to Petco. Smart move on KC's part, and oh the new fish was so pretty! I wanted to give him a girl's name, but KC wouldn't let me. He said the fish was a feisty one - that he had lurched at KC from within the jar when he picked him up to buy him. Add that to the mishap of his predecessor's death and we decided on Scandalous. Scandalous the fish. My beautiful but angry, red Scandalous.

As I reflect on the evening now, it seems so surreal (like most everything else in my life right now). When I wrote my last blog about Luke, I was worried about my sister and brother-in-law. Now the worry is realized and the truth exposed; my fish is dead and Scandalous has taken his place. Not something I planned or even understood until now.

My first fish was named after my favorite gospel, my second after a tragic death. I can only imagine what comes next. Sometimes I wish my life were a little less exciting. They say boring isn't half bad. There's nothing wrong with two cats and an apartment. Perhaps I don't need the frills of hermit crabs or betas. But they sure are pretty to look at. But dangerous too: easy to forget about and easy to kill. I guess one has to be more careful with the more fragile pieces of life. Hopefully this time I'm up for the responsibility.

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