Today is a sad day, my friends. My beloved Cornelius has turned belly up and kicked the bucket. I have to say that I am rather upset regarding this turn of events. I mean, Cornelius wasn’t just a COOL fish, he was THE AWESOMEST fish, ever – he watched me when I was in the kitchen, he’d always get real excited whenever I was around his brandy snifter, and he was definitely a decor accessory since he was just about the same color as my kitchen walls. It was cool to watch him puff up and get all crazy over his reflection, too. I’ve walked past his fish bowl countless times this afternoon, only to catch myself sighing when I don’t see his little red and blue fins swimming around. Honestly, I noticed about 2 days ago that he was acting strangely. He had lost his voracious appetite and appeared to have a belly so swollen, he looked like he was going to give birth. It was later in that day when I noticed his equilibrium being off – and anyone that has ever had a fish knows that as soon as they start doing that sideways swimming/floating crap, it’s only a matter of time.
As I watched him quickly deteriorate today, I remembered why I used to hate having fish. I hate watching them go – it’s always very long, violent, sad process. Most of the time, you’re lucky enough to just find them floating in the morning, but when they go during a time where you keep seeing them, keep walking past them as they fight against dying…it’s really difficult. I hate death in general, be it by man, animal or vegetable, but there is something about watching a fish essentially suffocate which is really heart wrenching. Eventually, after some convulsions and incessant laps around the tank, they just stop swimming altogether or they start laying sideways and you can see them gasping for air. I always seem to end up feeling this complete and utter helplessness. The one when you know that they’re sick, but there is literally nothing that you could do for them? I hate that feeling…There were a couple of times where I had to tap the glass to see if he was actually still among us, or if he had shuffled off to meet his maker, and it was the third time I tapped that there was no response. Suddenly, and finally, my poor, ill fated Cornelius had reached the end of his all too short life span.
His funeral was short and brief, he wouldn’t have wanted me to make a fuss, but you must know that he will be missed. I will have to evaluate the joy vs resentment that this stint of owing a fish again, has brought up inside of me, before I decide if I will purchase another or not. It seems silly, but I just don’t think there will ever be another Cornelius. And I’m not really one to settle for second best anymore.