I don’t really know where my irrational fear of fish started.
My brothers used to have at least seven at a time. Sometimes they would feed them too much and then they would pass, but then they would get new ones. We would go to the pet store and walk up and down the aisles of colors and happiness.
If I did that now, it would be some sort of exposure therapy.
I have been a vegetarian since the age of twelve for reasons of animal rights and the environment. Even before that, I never liked eating fish. Fish are not friends, or food to me in fact. They are just something I tend to dodge at all costs.
My parents would try fun things like organic fish sticks (~ooo~) or sneaking fish into foods that I already liked.
But I was never fooled.
My mom claims that she lived on swordfish when she was pregnant with me, and when I was two, I liked nothing more than eating that pink slimy substance.
My dad claims that when he was younger he had these fish called “rope fish” that were absurdly suicidal and would jump out of the tank every time he got them, leading him to find them dead across the room. Every. Time. And yes, the tank did have a cover. The whole situation is very unclear to me.
Which brings me to the topic of dead fish.
Fish in the supermarket are the absolute worst because they are long and have huge lifeless eyes and when I see them I avoid them as fast as my brother Ben claims he “avoids social situations.”
Fish in tanks are also bundles of fun because when they die they float to the top of the tank so it’s impossible not to notice them in their lifeless glory.
Maybe the fear started with the dream I had.
I had a dream when I was probably twelve that there were dead fish in my bed. This is now a recurring nightmare that haunts me every finals week or so. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to see them the same way.
That is, perhaps, where my fear of fish came from.