Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday, 10:00 a.m.

The fish in the work tank have had a rough time of it, though if you asked the current residents, they would probably not spare a care for their former troubles, being, well, fish and not, say, jilted lovers or anorectic college students. It's hard to imagine--being human--overdosing on nitrogen, swimming through increasingly murky waters while your comrades float tangled and decomposing, pale in the brightly colored plastic plants, but at least--being a fish--you would not have the foreknowledge of your pending doom swimming around with you. You would only grow perhaps increasingly tired and short of breath as your gills clog up and your eyes cloud over. I suppose that might be a better way to go than some, but it's hard to say.

The fish in the work tank are all new since the tragedy, though some newer than others. The first four test fish we thought dead having seen neither fin nor tail of them since two were netted and tossed ingloriously into the office trash can--the one by the coffee pot. The new four, orange and vivacious, seem more like tame birds or puppies (most puppies are tame). They gather together at the upper corner of the tank when I arrive in the morning, nosing the glass for their flakes of food. Indeed, their fishy exuberance brought the two remaining, long thought dead members of the first group out of their hiding, tentatively swimming into the open, their more sedate champagne-colored translucent flanks propelling them slowly toward sustenance.

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