in memoriam

last summer, rhan and i took a trip to denver with our good friends to see bjork and joanna newsom at the red rocks. we were gone for two or three days and it was a wonderful trip--my first to denver and my introduction to the phenomenon of joanna newsom live. many happy memories.

around this time, i was mother to a blue betta fish named cassavetes. he was a pretty enough fish, though surly, i felt, and i parented him recklessly from the start. once i accidentally dropped him in the sink and panicked like an idiot--cassavetes naked and flopping around, me too squeamish to pick him up with my bare hands to get him in the bowl, finally fumbling for silverware and spooning him in. and that was the first day i got him home.

so we go to denver, and i suppose it should have occurred to me that i couldn't leave him unattended for that long. but it didn't, because i was an optimist.
or i didn't care. who can say, really?

so we get home after a few days and i see that the bowl is miserable, the water all clouded over and dark. i look for the fish; cassavetes isn't moving. still optimistic, i think for a moment that he's alive but not moving, as bettas are given to periods of total inertia, but after an investigative poke with the blunt end of a butter knife, rhan declares the obvious: "that fish is dead." dead. expired. ceased to exist.

so we flush little cassavetes down the toilet and abandon his scummy bowl to the dumpster. an ignoble end to a pretty rough fish life, even by fish life standards.

i was to cassavetes the fish what a lifetime of hard work and alcohol was to cassavetes the man, minus the lasting influence and legacy of brilliant films.
though in my defense, cassavetes the fish never expressed any interest in filmmaking, at least not when i knew him, so maybe there were no regrets where that was concerned.

anyhow, i offer this post in remembrance, as much as it makes me sound like an awful, awful person. never let me have a fish again.