The F in MILF stands for Fish

3 min read

Liz Foster ’22

Managing Editor

Winter break is a cold, hollow void. Leaving behind a suite of five roommates has left me with the need to care for something. With my dogs currently out of state, I found myself needing a new pet. This sensation led me to my local Petsmarts where I left with a purple male betta fish who I’ve since dubbed Gekyume. Pouring gravel into a 2.5 gallon tank, I felt a thrill of contributing to the wellbeing of another creature. Watching my fish settle onto the leaves of his plastic plant, one which I plan to replace upon learning its leaves are too harsh for his delicate fins, a rush of adrenaline hit me. Despite my aversion to all things child and baby related, parenting has brought me joy. 

Though I’ve only been a fish-mother for twenty four hours, keeping my son alive has proven difficult. Today, after being transferred to a more appropriately sized tank, Gekyume retreated to the bottom of his tank for several hours. He briefly showed interest in swimming around after I installed his filter and air stone, conditioned the water and placed his favorite hiding spot–a $2 treasure chest–in the bottom of the tank. Shortly after, he settled to a corner of the tank. I initially assumed he was hiding from the filter, but later realized he was staring at himself. Bettas are highly aggressive, and I can only assume he saw an enemy in himself. My alternate theory is that he, like his adoptive mother, is mesmerized by his own image and enjoys playing Narcissus in the mirror as a genuine means of entertainment. 

The deeper implications of my buying a fish to raise as my pseudo-son is that he instills a sense of purpose into my life. It’s become all too easy to become lost in the routine I associate with living at home in my college years: wake up, work out, cook an egg, go on a walk, lay in my bed for hours, move to the couch to scroll aimlessly through Tik Tok, play Saints Row the Third, and return to laying in my bed. Life in the COVID-19 era, and the general experience of returning to a more mundane lifestyle compared to that of on-campus, lends itself to boredom and lethargy. I chose to fight monotony with a finned friend. I encourage readers filled with ennui to find themselves a fishy pal to call their own. 

bclark

Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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