When I was an infant, I had an aquarium. It wasn’t exactly traditional, and probably today it would not be sold, and the PETA people would come after it, not to mention all the shrieking there would be about the risks of infant strangulation. Plastic bags, and all that, you know.
My “aquarium” was a long, transparent bag, about 6 inches deep, and exactly long enough for its straps to tie across the rails of a crib.
I had a goldfish in my aquarium. I don’t remember if he had a name, but I am this minute resolving to ask my mom if he did.
The bag was tied low enough (I wasn’t yet sitting or walking) that I could whap (this is a family word – I think it is a good one) on that bag with my hands, and watch that fish scoot around above me.
I kind of doubt the fish was happy, what with all the whapping and all. However, apparently he did live for a good long time. Goldfish are pretty hardy, and easy to care for.
His demise was brought about by my grandmother. We apparently had to travel somewhere for some days, and she forgot to feed him.
I do not remember my fish. I don’t think. However, I am pretty sure my subconscious remembers my fish.
I dream a lot. About fish.
You know how there’s that one recurrent dream that everybody has, that they can’t explain why, and that they have various versions of it?
I dream about fish. And aquariums. Quite a bit. Not every day, or week, or month, but I have dreamt about them a LOT.
I am very happy in my dream, because I have many aquariums, which contain a multitude of exotic (and implausible) fish.
I am happy but concerned, because I walk into a room full of tanks of fish, and someone has neglected or forgotten them, but I can see there are some live fish, and I set about cleaning them up and rescuing them.
I am VERY happy, because I am in a shop, and I am there to buy (some) fish. These fish are WILDLY impossible creatures. I remember once there was a miniature underwater giraffe.
Occasionally, I am horrified because I have many aquariums, and somehow I forget I have fish, and now they look miserable and sick, and it is all my fault, and I have to make amends, and clean them up, and make them better again.
In all my dreams, the fish make me VERY happy. Except for the early on part where I find the forgotten ones, because they look sad.
In real life, I have owned goldfish, bettas, neon tetras, guppies, plecostomas (I may have spelled the name very wrong, but they are the little depressed looking bloopy ones who keep the tank clean), angelfish, fresh water sharks, and cichlids.
I love the goldfish the most.
Especially the fancy ones: the Black Moors, the Lionhead Orandas, the Pearl Scales, and those black Telescope ones who have the bulging eyes.
I have had some of all of these goldfish. I want to buy one right now. Alas, we travel too much.
So what does this mean? I have a feeling that I have a visual memory, or a stored feeling of happiness if I see a fish, from my infancy. I’m pretty sure.
Is this true? I don’t know, but I sure love fish. I really love them. And that makes me happy. Very happy.