I am a fish, within a bowl. Always looking out, never being out. I look at all the other fish walking, playing, laughing. I stay in my cage. It is a glass bowl, yet a suffocating cage. Can I suffocate? I am a fish. I feel like I am drowning. Can a fish drown? Maybe it is just a feeling? I am jealous of all the outside fish. They have each other, fun, lives. I am alone. Sometimes other fish come to the glass and knock on it. I turn away. I know I can’t come out. I belong in. I don’t want to hear them ask. They have no clue what an being inside fish is like. They never will. They are lucky and I am not.

A few times, I broke the surface, and I really thought I would die. I knew then that I couldn’t go on the outside. I was the fish who needed to be safe inside her cage. It is that simple. I don’t know how the other fish don’t suffocate. I want what they have. It is not my destiny. My destiny is to grow old in this bowl, with the water getting more and more dirty, until even the water turns against me. And then I will die.

When I sleep, and sometimes when I am awake, I see a different life. Where I am an outside fish. I am happy out there. I have friends, a job, a life. Then I wake up, from sleep or from fake sleep, and realize that I am still an inside fish. Stupid dreams. Having them is worse than not. If I had even one other fish in here with me, I think I would feel better. Except I am comfortable in here alone. It is what I know. If there were another fish here, I would not know what to say. Especially if it was an outside fish that came in. Maybe an inside fish from a different bowl. Would that work? I think it might. How do I find another inside fish, and get them in here? That sounds like a lot of work. I think there are no other inside fish anyway. All other fish are different. I am unique in my misery. That’s okay. I’ll just pretend it is okay, until my time is over. Then it will be okay.

Pish the Fish

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