A few months ago, I met up with my friend and we ate at a local sushi restaurant. We decided to dine outside and we were sat at a table near a fountain that contained some Koi fish. The sound of the fountain, the the red flashes from the swimming fish seemed nice enough. Throughout dinner kids would walk up to take a look at the fish, so I decided to take a gander after I finished eating.
As I walked over, I thought about how relaxed I was after sitting in ear shot of the trickling water, and pondered the long term effects of having a fountain with fish might be something I would like to incorporate into my lifestyle. I made it to the fountain and looked in. As I leaned over the edge, I saw about 12 fish staring up at me. The Koi were wide eyed and looking at me. All were opening their jaws wide like a yawn and then closing their mouths in a manner that seemed nervous or anxious. Every fish was looking in my direction with this intense need or want in their eyes. I couldn’t tell which, as I often get want and need confused on a regular basis.
The fish held my stare for longer than I wanted and for every second that passed I became ridden with the weight of their expectations. I felt immediately guilty I would never be able to live up to the standard they were setting fourth with their pleading gazes. I am certain they were only wanting food, but the intense look in their eyes made it appear like they wanted something more. As I walked away, I realized that I needed to, or is it wanted to… go back to therapy.
I replayed their incessant gazes throughout the evening after leaving the restaurant, much like the replays during a football game. It was similar to the plays that are reviewed over and over, either horrific or amazing, depending on the circumstances. I am not sure what spurred my mind to do so, but in several of the replays if I concentrated enough, I swear, with my limited fish lip reading skills, one fish actually mouthed, “I need school clothes!” I never considered that a Koi pond would be the measurement for me to understand the state of my mental health, but it seems so.
I haven’t returned to this restaurant yet, but plan to as I used to frequent this place a bunch. I can only surmise I have been waiting for it to get cold enough that there is no chance that I would have the choice to sit outside. Knowing myself the way I do, I would most likely choose to have a second encounter with the fish, if only, to gain some type of understanding about the current state of my mind. However, I am not certain my mental fortitude is in a place where I can withstand the weight of the agonizing gazes that wait for me in the bubbling water.