“This is what it feels like to die,” I murmur while leaning to the right. I sit next to the goldfish I had won with a pocketful of tootsie rolls. Earlier, I decided to name him Arnold.
Arnold and I were spending the last moments of our hereditary lives together spinning. I find myself wishing for a grand display of power to cause our circular invention to rise up into the air, into the atmosphere, into space. Into space where Arnold and I would spend one last glance as his water froze inside the thin, malleable bag made of polyethylene and dead plants and animals. I would glimpse back down to earth and then attempt to take the biggest breath since I parted the vaginal lips only to find nothing, and there would be great solace in that nothing. I would be proud of that nothing.
We continue to spin. Arnold must be fairly pleased with his short term memory to only remember one revolution to then be confronted by another.
“This is about Identity,” I again turn towards Arnold, grab his bag, and cradle the plastic diversion between boy and fish in the right angle of my elbow.
I sit next to a sheet of paper that declares all of my failures. I find myself wishing for some anomaly of whatever form to cause the evaporation of the fibers holding the paper together. We both look out of the half dome and bars we have encased ourselves in – partly due to regulation – and find empty-socketed gods of life. One with a beard – One with a cut off t-shirt – One with a perm – One with an ankle brace – One with a cigarette – One with a balloon holding the hand of One with a grin – One with a beard – One with a cut off t-shirt… Revolutions.
The one with a cigarette stares at us and all of our fellow cohorts along the industrial testament of man and pleasure. He watches all of us like a plantation owner without the same income. He knows that he is part of the system: commodifying our pseudo joy and entertainment. I decide to throw him a twist to his day.
I remove Arnold from his warming home, and I toss him as far as I can. Because I am turning, I cannot see where he lands or how he splatters or if he guppies, flapping or if he falls between the steel cracks and gets crushed by the quickly constructed cogs. When I spin back around, all I see is the refreshing wetness that defined Arnold’s life.
Spinning. One with a look of despair – One with a look of surprise – One with a look of fear – One with a look of empathy – One with a look of anger – One with tears rolling down to the hand of the One with a look of shame – One with a look of despair – One with a look of surprise… Revolutions.
“You escaped death, Arnold,” I whisper as the one with the cigarette slams the emergency stop button. My parents call out my name and quickly grab my arm while apologizing, but all I can look at is the reflection of water on the fading red and yellow paint.