Tuesday, August 7, 2007

To Pace Oneself to Death


I think I may be slowly killing the cichlid. From stress. This is A.'s fish. I don't think he'll find it endearing if it dies under my care. It might cast a rather inept light around me, you know?

I cleaned the fish tank tonight. I dislike this even more than I dislike cleaning up the dogs' poop everyday. At least the dogs' poop remains stationary when I am trying to get to it. Well, on those delightful days of 50 mph winds it doesn't stay put, but enough about the joys of living on the moon.

Anyway, the cichlid always gets a bit antsy when I am in there messing with his shit. I thought the water aerator thingy (I don't know anything about this fish tank or the fish; I just hate when it looks gross.) looked like it was covered in slime and doing a pitiful job of aerating. And it must be important that it aerate, right? So, I swooshed it with the handled spongy scrapy thing and ta-da! Bubbles! Aerating bubbles! Big bubbles all over the fish tank! Woo hoo!

Um, it is making A LOT of LOUD bubbles now. I think I may have actually tore the special aerator material. Oops. Can water be over-aerated? Geezuz, I don't know anything about this shit.

Now the cichlid is swimming around constantly, just going back and forth. Demonstrating just how crappy it must be to be stuck in there. On display and all. He'll kind of swim near all the bubbles but seems like his is mostly trying to stay away from them. Usually he just sort of hangs out, all suspended and mellow. Now he is moving, moving, moving.

I am not necessarily fond of this fish but it is damn near breaking my heart to think that he may be dying a slow death due to anxiety. He's not tiny, but he is only about three or four onces or so. Constant moving could really wear him out, right? What a miserable, miserable end. To pace oneself to death.

Maybe I am just overly sensitive to the idea of an untimely and miserable death brought on by anxiety right now. Just what would it take to die from anxiety? Months? Years? Nine days?

A.'s sheep hunt starts in 10 days. He'll be out (with three other very capable fellas, thank God) for nine days in wilderness area, tracking and hunting his big horn sheep. Contact with the hunting party will not be possible. If something goes wrong, I won't have any indication until the ninth day. Even if that something wrong happens on, say, the second day. You see where I am going here.

Plus, A. has been looking forward to this once in a lifetime hunt since he was 16 years old. I want so badly for this hunt to be a rewarding experience for him. Rewarding in that all his planning results in a successful hunt. Rewarding in that he gets some much needed time free from the stress of work, finances and grad school and just gets to do what he enjoys for a while. Rewarding in that he gets to experience this with good, kind people. Rewarding in that yes, indeed, very good things are a part of his life.

I know how I handle this kind of stuff. Anxiety will be my constant companion, and I will be in a sleepless, silent battle to keep it from taking me over while he is gone. I will most likely be pacing, pacing, pacing, back and forth in our little house.

Much like the cichlid. Until I hear from A. on the ninth day.

Here's hoping that both my little aquatic roomie and I are stronger than I am currently giving us credit for.

1 comment:

  1. I know nothing from fish either. To be on the safe side, you could go to PetSmart and find a similar-looking cichlid...ah....just in case. Don't worry too much about size. Nine days is a long time. The words "He missed you and lost weight" or "I must have overfed him" come to mind. Just be prepared.


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