Monday, November 03, 2003

Well, I really don't know how things are going to go from here on out.

I've just moved back in with my parents. I love my family, so it isn't really a problem for me.

I just know that I no longer have my cable modem, and I am going to have to adjust to not being able to post at 6:00 am in my underwear. We'll see what happens.

Halloween was awesome. I'll probably elaborate once I have the pictures.

But, I owe Jaden a story about Luis. I'll have to post a picture of him as well.

A few nights ago I was over here at my parent's house grabbing some dinner. Ingryd and I were just sitting around talking for a bit after, and Luis was up, too. He had school the next day, so he said "Goodnight" and went off to bed.

I happened to look in the fish tank to check up on my sister's dwarf frogs. They were fine, kicking to the top of the tank and then sinking to the bottom like they always do.

But I noticed one of the two fish was not so much swimming happily as it was stuck up in the filter.

The fish belonged to Luis. He had named them Matt and Lita, after two wrestlers from the WWE.

I pondered for a moment. I had a couple of options. I could tell him now or tell him later. The more I thought of it, I knew I had to tell him immediately. I wasn't going to be like that parent who tells their kid they took the family pet to live on a farm. Because parents who do that aren't trying to make things easier on the kid. They're just trying to make things easier on themselves.

I walked into Luis' room. He hadn't fallen asleep yet. I hesitated, then said, "Luis."

"Yeah?" he asked.

I paused again. "One of your fish has died."

"What?!" Luis leaped out of bed and ran over to the fish tank. I followed him over. He stuck his face up against the glass trying to see in.

"It looks like he got stuck in the filter, Luis."

"She." Luis said.

"What?" I asked.

"That's Lita." he answered. "That's Lita." Then he started crying.

He ran back into his room and threw himself on his bed. He buried his face into his pillow and kept sobbing.

I followed him again, but just stood in the doorway of his room.

Then my mom heard him crying and came over to ask what the matter was.

"One of his fish died," I explained.

She went into mother-comforting mode and started to go over to Luis. "Mom, please just leave him alone for a minute." I asked.

She ignored me and went over to Luis and tried to talk to him. "Don't worry, we'll get you a new fish."

Damn. I was afraid she was going to say that.

Luis started crying even harder.

Of course. After all, if for instance, your brother died and while you were grieving someone said to you, "Don't worry, we'll get you a new brother," would you think that would make you feel better?

So why would you say that about a kid's pet? I don't understand it.

I told my mom not to say that to him, that I it would only upset him more. So of course, she said it at least three more times. I gave up trying to get her to just let him be and walked out into the backyard. I got a shovel and propped it up by the back door.

I scooped out Lita and wrapped her in a napkin. I placed the napkin on the counter and walked back to Luis' room. He was still lying in bed, but his sobs had reduced to quiet sniffling. "Luis," I said.


"Come with me."

"What? Why?"

"We're going to bury your fish."

Luis didn't want to at first. He told me that he didn't think he could do it. I told him that he wouldn't have to do anything, I would take care of it, but that I thought he should be there. He reluctantly agreed, and came out with me.

I found a spot in the corner of the yard and started to dig. Lita was a small fish, so a few shovel-fulls was enough. Luis wanted to see the fish, so I unwrapped it and showed it to him. He examined it solemnly. I placed the fish in the hole and started filling it back up.

He looked down at the little plot of earth. "She was the best one," Luis said, his version of a eulogy, I guess. "She was always the best one."

I remained silent, but thought to myself, "Well said."

Few fish ever receive such high praise, and even fewer more honest.

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