Friday, March 12, 2010
I am a murderer.
Thank goodness the statute of limitations has run out in my case. My conscience, however has no such limitation. Though this dastardly deed happened a long time ago, my guilt has not been relieved. The victims' eyes still haunt me. That and their last, desperate attempts to gulp enough oxygen to live. When I first met who would become my three victims, they were happily swimming around a dark-bottomed, beautifully landscaped outdoor pond in Glen Echo. They would playfully leap up into the air, splashing back down in a sprinkling of diamond-like water drops. And they were huge. With a little coercion from two adorable little girls -- daughters of a friend -- I had agreed to see to their well being during the winter months. Though I was living in a tiny studio apartment at the time, I made room for them. At first, my guests seemed a little disoriented and I soon came to realize that my idea of accommodations was not theirs. I thought giving them plenty of sunshine would cheer them up. It didn't. The situation became murkier and murkier as days went by. Leaving for work each morning I worried that one or all three of them might escape -- leaping to certain death. You see, during their first evening with me, I spent an inordinate amount of time picking up their slippery bodies from the floor and returning them to their bowl. I tried to contain them by placing a cookie cooling rack over their bowl. They just knocked it off. A heavy bookend put an end to that trick. I fed them regularly and even talked to them. No matter -- in mere days their skins became slimy and started sloughing-off. Horrors!! How could this be happening?! I'd been so conscientious! Who knew that goldfish, actually carp, would grow as large as their container would allow? When I agreed to house them through the winter, I had pictured three, tiny fish of the sort one wins at a carnival. I'd purchased a large (or so I thought) glass bowl and even prepared the room-temp. water with anti-chlorine tabs as instructed by the guy at Woolworths in Georgetown. I wonder what would have happened to them if I'd freed them into the Potomac? Who knows -- maybe they would have grown to record-breaking proportions and inspired fishing tournaments. Their golden coloring certainly would have stood out among the muddy, gray catfish! Maybe they would have crossbred and spawned gold and gray polka-dotted progeny! They could be called Potomacus Polkadotae . . . ;-}