The events of this story are absolutely, positively true. No exageration, pinky promise! Names were intentionally left out to protect the innocent, hard-working women of our company.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
A Fishy Story….
Is this all there is?
Ok you won’t believe what happened in my office yesterday? There are moments in your life when you wonder is this all there is to life? Coming and going, gaining and losing, giving and taking, loving and hating…you go through days that seem to be so mundane you wonder how long you can go on like that. And then some event occurs, that breaks up the run of endless monotony…something good or something bad but it distracts you from the daily grind. For a time you are suspended in an event that alone would be a blip on the timeline of your life. But add it with other blips it becomes a memorable moment. I would like to share a tale of such a moment.
"You killed my fish"
"What,? No I didn’t, what is wrong with it?"
"OMG, Let me see."
"What, the fish is dead?"
I walked into her office and there on the floor lies a little tiny 2 ½" silver Beta. I couldn’t believe it. How on earth could the fish end up on the floor? I felt so bad. All I did was change the water and clean the vase. I only did a partial change because it had only been a week since the fish was put into the vase. I then set the vase on the desk 4" from the edge of the desk. I ran to the kitchen to get a large spoon to scoop the little guy up. It was dead or at least that is what we thought. I bent over and put the spoon next to the fish and when I touched it, it flopped. I about jumped out of my pants
"AAAAHHHH" "Yikes" "OOHHH!" (in unison)
There we were, three grown women, realizing at the same time the fish was still alive…
"Get it up, it is still alive."
"Here is the spoon, you get it, my heart is beating too fast."
"Give me the spoon"
"OH, get it, there it goes"
She reached down and after several more attempts and flip/flops from the fish; she finally got it on the spoon. Dropping it into the vase with a plop, it floated for a minute then it swam to the top of the vase. It gulped and you could see its little body trying to recover. Then it sunk to the bottom and we thought it died again. But after a few minutes it went back to the top. We started to figure out what happened. We found the spot where the fish landed on the desk but it still did not explain how it got to the floor. What we could construe was that it had jumped out of the vase, fell onto the desk, flip/flopped to the floor and flipping several more times ended up about 1 ½’ from the desk. After looking at the vase for some time, one of us realized that I had filled the vase to within a ½" of the top of the vase. Who knew the fish would jump out? What on earth was it thinking? The water is clearer on the other side of the glass? After an hour of it going up and down in the vase, we decided we needed to take it out and put it in a smaller container and completely clean the vase and all the items inside.
"It has finally given up, it is dead"
"No, not yet, he seemed to be fighting"
"No, he is dead. We have to flush him. I can’t do it by myself. We all have to go"
So the three of us, standing in the ladies bathroom, with little ceremony I dumped him into the toilet and turned my head away. I couldn’t look. We waited because the toilets were the automatic flush kind and when it didn’t flush, I looked back.
"Why isn’t it flushing? I can’t do it, I can’t look"
"I’ll do it."
Flush! Silence. We all look at each other. What did we just do? Three grown women standing in a ladies bathroom on the sixth floor saying goodbye to fish.
"Check to see if it is gone"
"It might scare someone."
Finding Nemo came to mind, but I kept that thought to myself, didn’t want to seem insensitive.
"It’s gone, sorry for your loss"
The office seemed quiet as we filed in through the door. What would do now? How would we get through this? We did everything we could, it was just his time to go. The day was filled with drama and we were spent. We needed to get back to work, to get our minds off "Silver".
"Sorry, for killing your fish"
"The story is Silver committed suicide and we’re sticking to it!"
"I will get you another one"
"Not sure I want another one, just too much drama."
I got her another one and it is really pretty. Right after I finished putting it into her vase, she came in carrying another Beta…so now we have 4 beautiful fishes in the office. Enough to keep us amused in almost every room we walk into. So now you are probably wondering what the point is. Our lives have been intertwined by our jobs. We do the daily tasks without too much difficulty. Each efficient in her own way, having lives of varying differences but sharing the common goals of giving, providing, loving and caring for our families. Our timelines have crossed. And the intersection for this day was a dead fish. Other days it is news from a doctor, something our kids are doing, what happened last night on a TV show or what’s for lunch. This isn’t all there is to life, there is more!