Aquatic

“One of these days you’re going to drown in there,” my husband says. “Or turn into a fish.”

When I was young there was a movie, “Mr. Limpet” where this nerdy librarian-type man dreams of becoming a fish, falls overboard, and actually has it happen. He gets tempted by Lady Fish with her silky come-on voice and fluttering fish eyelashes. In the end, he saves the world but Mr. Limpet returns to land and his not-so-pretty wife.

I used to think fish were smarter than us, snorkeling in the dark depths, occasionally leaping for air in magnificent poses of arched spine and thrashed water. Then my father took me fishing. He showed me things—the heads chopped off, steaming guts like gray brain matter. “Go on,” he said, “touch it.”

Now I know different. I salt the water and pour lilac soap while the spout pours. It mists the bath a pale shade. I settle in for as long as it takes to feel clean. Then later, usually the next day, I do the same.

Len Kuntz lives on a lake in rural Washington State with an eagle and three pesky beavers. His short fiction appears in places like Camroc Press Review, Right Hand Pointing and also at http://lenkuntz.blogspot.com.

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