Fish Kisses

Fish Kisses

By T. Steelman. 

When I was a young girl I had a fish tank in my room. Just a handful of small goldfish, the ones that only cost a dime apiece. You’d think that their price would keep me from getting attached, but I loved my little “fishie buddies.” I took good care of them,  and most lived a long time, some into my teens and beyond. Common wisdom holds that goldfish are dumb and can’t even remember where they’ve just swam. But that’s not true. Not for my fishie buddies. They could do a trick; they would kiss my fingers to get their food. They learned quickly. Soon every feeding was preceded by their trick, which I saw as a show of affection. They kissed my fingers, and then they ate.

The bay looks mysterious in the moonlight. Beckoning. As if the answer to all my problems waits for me in the dark water. The waves are lapping the rocks, a counter melody to the constant singing of the geckos. The breeze in the palms whispers a harmony. Inside the trunk of my car there are the bags of rocks I had gathered earlier. I tie the four bags carefully to the diving belt then lift it onto the ground. I place my belongings in the trunk, carefully closing it so as not to disturb the gecko symphony. I turn towards the water. I feel calm. Peaceful. Right.

I heft the belt of rocks down to the edge of the bay, breathing in the scented night. Plumeria and sea, the perfume of Kona. I sit on the rock ledge, the waves lapping at my knees as I secure the weight belt. With a final deep breath of the night air, I push off into the bay.

As I sink, my new fishie buddies swim to me: parrot fish and butterfly fish, wrasses, surgeonfish, morays … surrounding me. I reach out my hands to them as my breath leaves me. They kiss my fingers and they eat.


T. STEELMAN is a writer and political reporter. She also moderates for the Stephen King Message Board (which explains this odd tale). She lives with her husband, 3 cats and 4 alpacas on a farm in rural Western Washington. You can read her political pieces on her Facebook page, The Way The Wind Blows.  She has recently published her first e-book, The Mad Logophile: In Search Of Words: Political Words and Phrases. It is the first in a series of books about words. Her friends tell her that she is not normal. But in a good way. She thinks.

Photo by lina smith.

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