Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Save A Fish (The Beginning of the End)

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Crashing Down," #29 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song. Then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)(...still waiting...)

I saved the life of a fish today.

It was just flopping there on the shore, near the water, but just outside of it. I'd never seen that before, and I've been to the shore about 27,338 times. Not that I have been counting or anything. I was fascinated by the fish, so full of life and floppiness. Yet I knew it was dying. I knew it by the way he was talking to me, his mouth flopping open and shut, open and shut, like he was speaking to me in his ancient, native fish language about all of the things he feared and hoped...which were likely all of the things that I feared and hoped, too, and I wanted to say to him, "I know," because I did know. I had so much in common with that fish that I would have liked to have sat him down at the nearby coffee shop and done some lip flapping of my own, in the language he would not understand, either, but which would have mirrored everything he had just said to me back at him. I sensed he did not have time for it, though. I knew that the humane thing to do would be to throw the fish as far as I could out into the ocean. But I am not nearly that magnanimous. I could not stand to touch his slimy fish body, though I did admire the beauty of his rainbow scales and how they glowed in the sunlight. I noticed some nearby seaweed, still wet, so I wrapped that around the fish, the idea being to pick him up in the sea weed and throw the whole live fish burrito wrap into the sea. But the reason that the whole concept of the "live fish" burrito has never taken off in fish markets around the world, aside from obvious reasons, is that live fish just fling themselves right out of that burrito wrapper; they do not like to be contained, especially if their wrapper is itself wet and slippery. I will point out here that seaweed is quite healthy to eat, and the concept of seaweed wrapped fish burritos is actually a pretty good idea, so good, in fact, that I am surprised no one else ever thought of it before.

"But Michelle,

My imaginary reader interrupts here-
"Michelle, someone else did already think of that, and called it 'sushi.'"
"...and the fish is not alive, but raw, which is as close as you can get."

Oh ya.

So anyway, after the fish flung itself back onto the sand, having decided that my seaweed sandwich idea was not in it's best interest, I had to think of something else. And since I could come up with no other way to get the fish back into his desired ocean with my own two hands, I had no choice but to kick the fish back into the water. Only I also couldn't stand the thought of my feet touching the fish, either. So I sort of dug my toes in the sand right under where the fish was, and kicked the sand up towards the ocean. At the time I did this, the tide rolled in, so it ended up being a group effort, my self from one end, the ocean from the other. When the tide rolled back, the fish was still on the shore, though closer to sea, so I had to repeat this fish kicking process a few more times, and the ocean continued to help me from it's end of the bargain. Eventually, the sea rolled back out, and took the fish with it. I imagine by this time, the fish had regained his sense of hope, and started swimming on it's own again, no longer requiring the assistance of a random beach girl and the entire weight of the ocean. I imagine that he swam out with gusto, and that now there was a message in all of his lip flopping, and he was able to carry it on to his fellow fish friends. I hope to someday be done with my own shore flopping, my own open mouthed yapping to those who don't have a clue what I am saying, or how to save me from my own extinction, but who nevertheless put forth the effort and creativity to try, in hopes that something greater than all of us will catch me on the other end, bless them. I was encouraged by this thought as I watched the receding tide.

But most likely what actually happened is that once the fish got out to the sea I had helped him get back into, he was eaten by a fish much larger than himself, and that it happened so fast, as he was in mid "never give up" hope inducing speech, and he never saw his own doom coming. This is as it should be.


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