RIP Hector

After a week of heat, after a week of meaning to get to the fish bowl that held my daughters first two fish, even though she wasn’t interested in them once she realized that they didn’t talk, bark, or really do much of anything beside bob just under the surface of the water and act up slightly if we came with in view of their fish tank, Hector, the larger of the two fish died.

I found his bloated corpse stuck to the side of the bowl this morning. Just after changing the water, the two gold fish, Goldie (with orange lip stick) and Hector (who didn’t have lipstick) swam under the white and silver meniscus. Their billowing fins flared in front of the greenish mermaid my daughter wanted for decoration. However, the water turned orange within three days of getting changed. During most of Hector’s brief life in our household — he lasted about nine weeks — he swam in a murky pool of bacteria infested fish excrement and festering, uneaten fish pellets. This last week has been in the high nineties and low nineties. We’ve kept air moving through the house. The fish bowl turned from slightly orange to a viscous yellow. Hector spent the last day of his life pushing his lips through the water to breath. Sometimes the fish would hurl themselves up, trying to jump clear of the bowl, I realize now, to safety. We laughed as they splashed. “Goldie and Hector are freaking out,” my daughter said.

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