Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Life Aquatic (Or at Least Neurotic)

Everyone deals with their midlife crisis a bit differently. Some men get new cars, other men get new wives. My dad got a new fish tank. He loves his fish tank and treats it with the same slightly frazzled paternal care which helped my brother and I age into fully functional, neurotic adults. He even wakes his fish up early on the weekends to clean their tank.

So, naturally, I included a scene about my dad’s fish tank in a semi-autobiographical play I wrote my Junior year in college. Apparently, the scene resonated with my girlfriend at the time and, the following, Valentine’s Day, she gave me a fish tank to help me through my own mid-college crisis. In an act of passive-aggressive passion, she named the fish after the only person she felt I loved more than her: Trey. While my for love both has slowly waned over the past five years, I still have that fish tank and occasionally refill it with a new batch of aquatic offerings.

I named by first new bath of fish after members of the Beatles but, within a matter of days, Trey ate both John and Paul and, within a matter of weeks, Ringo and George met a similar fate (I guess their solo careers were never meant to be). Eventually Trey got too fat and imploded and, though Adam Foley tried to save him at a party I threw, his career eventually went belly up. In the meantime, I bought another batch of fish who I named after Grateful Dead keyboardists. But, last summer, I buried Vince Welnick at sea. My fish tank sat like to a water mausoleum for months, until this afternoon when I ventured across Union Square to pick up another batch of fish. At first I was going to name them after Allman Brothers bassists, but Berry Oakley’s already looking a bit green, so I am going to try to think of a less pessimistic group name. Perhaps I’ll go with Seinfeld characters. That way I know they will at least live on in syndication forever.

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