it’s hot as hell and the air conditioner in my bedroom is broken
the fan is just blowing hot air around
it’s impossible to sleep
i’ve been wondering how Bill’s doing
last we spoke, he was still upset about that accident
send him my best, and tell him that crossing guards make mistakes like everyone else
anyway. . .
lying here, i keep thinking of this fish i had in high school
Bachelor, his name was. he was a betta — you know, the red and blue kind whose fins flare out when they feel threatened?
i was dating this boy at the time.
he was crazy for fish. even worked in a fish store
looking back, getting Bachelor was probably his idea
i’d have done anything for this boy
here i was with this fish
“bettas are very sensitive to temperature,” my boyfriend told me. “Bachelor’s water has to stay between 76 and 82 degrees at all times. whatever you do, don’t go outside of that range. it could be fatal.”
fatal? Jesus. i’d bought the fish for $4.99
my commitment issues reared up, but i couldn’t turn back
it was mid-July. scorching hot. my only relief was a fan
nights, i tossed and turned, just like i am now
if i turned on the fan, Bachelor’s water could fall below 76 degrees
but late one night, marinating in my own sweat, i got up and looked into Bachelor’s bowl
there he was, fins gliding through the water with comfort and ease
i was jealous of the fucker
he was rested, composed, serene i, on the other hand, was peaked, short-tempered, and hallucinating from sleep deprivation
i hated to pull rank, but food chain-wise, i had the advantage. there were too many species between us
just. too. many.
finally, I turned the fan on.
and you know what? Bachelor’s water may have dipped to 75.9 degrees, but he fared just fine. for months
until my aerosol hairspray finally caught up with him
it was the ’80’s, big hair and such
the atmosphere in my bedroom, i realized too late, was toxic. my hair held firm, but Bachelor grew weak
perhaps he’d have survived Paul Mitchell or Sebastian products, but i couldn’t afford them
regardless, i decided i’m not cut out for a pet fish
i do better with cats. they seem less vulnerable to airborne poisons
i should let you go
thanks for your ear
again, please send Bill my best
hope your rash is better
JuneThe Heat Wave: Epiphanies and Confessions | The Password →