The Golden Fish

a story of a fish too caught up to realize the worth of the world around him.

The goldfish looks out into its perfectly created world; it all looks clear, bright, and wonderful. Everything is understandable from behind its glass.

This goldfish is meticulous and takes its time in the morning getting ready for a long day of swimming back and forth perfecting its world. Making adjustments to its routine would only cause chaos. As with every other day of the goldfish’s perfect life, it holds in its designer gloves a designer coffee, its designer jeans cover designer underwear, which were bought to support a designer charity bringing awareness of one horrible thing or another. The goldfish rationalizes that buying these underwear it tells the world it is helping to stop this horrible thing, though deep down he knows he doesn’t care.

This morning as the goldfish swims in its usual patterns back and forth it notices a tiny orange fish, emaciated and dirty. Normally the goldfish would just roll its tiny black eyes and think nasty thoughts because it knows this fish isn’t helping to contribute to its perfect world.

The tiny orange fish is smiling, it holds a sign that says “I have a voice just ask me”. The goldfish finds this fishes sign strangely outlandish, to speak is one thing, but having a voice to the goldfish means opinions, sought after knowledge, or education on topics. Knowing that the goldfish was obviously much wiser than a dirty spot he made one more round and stopped in front of the fish.

“Hello” The goldfish looks down upon its intended company.

“Good morning, it’s going to be a lovely day.” A bright smile shone up shivering

“Do I intimidate you?” the goldfish scoffed in his coy way.

“Oh no sir, it was just a little chilly last night, I hardly got any sleep”

“Are you telling me you were out in the open all night? Do you not have a hole, or maybe one of those lush plants is yours?”

“No sir, this whole world is my home, I sleep when I can but how can you with such wonder everywhere?” The fish tries to swim but quickly tires, he is shivering hard.

“Have you not a bed and warm blankets.”

“Well?” the tiny fish thinks, “No, I guess I don’t”

“Here.” The goldfish looks down at his coffee and hands it over hesitantly.

The orange fish dips his head to thank the goldfish and reaches out to take the coffee. He takes a sip and acknowledges its quality.

“May I ask you a question?”

“Surely, please.”

“Why? I am a hard working fish, I take great pride in the order my world is in and…”

“Oh yes sir, as do I” the tiny fish replied wide-eyed.

“What? This is precisely my point. You say voice but mean noise; no knowledge, nothing to share. You say pride, but you have none, you are a muddy spot in a crystal universe I myself have built.”

“Sorry, I don’t understand your anger.”

“Keep the coffee. I have work to do.” The goldfish begins to swim away, but something is holding him back.

“Please stay. You think I have no knowledge of your ‘crystal universe’, that I have not lived as you do, unaware. May I ask of you a question?”

The goldfish well aware the incompetent fish could only make more noise agrees to stay with a roll of its eyes and a tight round bubble. “Fine.” He waits while the tiny fish collects the question.

“Are you happy?”

“That is your question?”

The tiny fish waits

“Of course I’m happy. I have a home, food, money, power, I have worked very hard to create a perfect world that will make me happy.”

“But are you happy?”

“What is all this bubble blowing?” confused

“I was only questioning”

The goldfish leans in “Then I would watch out little dirty fish who you are questioning. When I arrived here this world was a wasteland, no rhyme or reason, I fought to create a world with a clear purpose, and I don’t know if you belong here.”

“All these things make you happy, but can you truly say that you are happy?”

The goldfish thinks on this and retorts, “I am not completely certain.”

“You see?”

“No!” the agitated goldfish replied “Please dirty fish, please enlighten me.”

“As you closed your eyes last night what was it that you hoped of today.”

“That’s easy I hoped that my work would have paid off and that my world would still be perfect and not destroyed”

“Things destroy your world?”

“The world destroys my things!”

“I see”

“Do you? I don’t see it. As you lay out here with no shelter, what is it that you hoped? To be ‘Happily Ever After’” the goldfish mocks.

“You do not need to ask if I am happy, I have everything I could dream of.”

“You have nothing, you build nothing, and you create nothing. You are nothing!”

“I have knowledge, I build a life and I create my destiny… unlike you I understand that the world is not destroying my life it is giving me life.”

“Really?” cynically the goldfish temps the smaller fish “I know you can not be truly happy, what is it you truly want from me?”

“When I closed my eyes last night I hoped that the world would keep me safe and that the light would shine through the glass and I would meet someone nice and maybe, just maybe he might buy me a cup of coffee.” A light flashes as the orange fish lifts his hand and sips from the cup the goldfish brought.

It will be hours before the goldfish leaves and from his insight he might just change but in the eyes of the tiny orange fish it is he who is learning and his only intention as he sits here talking is to be in the presence of someone who can hear him.

The End

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