3am the quietest of hours. Sitting here with the gentle hum and trickling sounds of my fish tanks filters. The blue glow from a night light over one of the habitats. If i look close enough can see the younger guppies darting in and out of the weeds. Their own world. A micro civilisation of sorts.
The tank has its own hierachy , but not really one you would expect. The smaller but more numerous young guppies even pushing older sword tails and a small white angel about. The larger sucking loach being like a grumpy granddad with all reluctantly giving in to his occasional outbursts.
At 3am I can imagine myself in their world. Vying for a position of power in their small world. The two tanks in the bedroom have my smaller fish in one and a lone aggressive large Angel in the other.
My big tank in the living room is a whole different world. In that there are fish but also frogs. There is a big shark (related to sprats and herring but resembling a Shark) a very active Sailfin Molly, various different types of the larger of the tetra family, a few plecs n catfish including an eel like one and an albino Cory, a gourami, and four frogs of different sizes. The big Angel became too aggressive for this tank hence his now solitary existence.
I am no expert on my fish but generally unless they are attacked they seem happy. They get fed and cleaned out and come to see me at the glass.
They tell me when its feeding time. We are told fish have no memory but mine definitely do. My Shark – ‘Richard’ named by my son as he is largest fish in the tank and its a play upon Moby Dick, comes chatting to me. Its easy to imagine him and molly having conversations with me (its ok I don’t listen to them too often lol).
I change all the tanks about fairly frequently and have introduced more plants of late. The fish seem to love this. The frogs definitely do, they have become bolder less elusive. They swim about and at times just floating on the surface, only needing a miniature beer can and hawaiian shirts to complete the picture.
I love each of these little worlds, they are far simpler and generally more happy than our own. Bullies and killers straight away identified and incarcerated in solitary. Their own rules. But even these worlds having a belief system. A god. The being that comes along and pronounces arbitrary justice, changes the physical state of the world, cleans their streets and feeds them. This supreme one even dictates whether its night or day for them. They do not complain, do not argue over differences in their own interpretations of when changes will happen or when they will be fed next or even by whom. They just accept it, and get on with their lives.
Their world is far far simpler than our and for that I truly envy my fish.
But more than that I love them, I love that they give me a different view on my world, they divert my thoughts from pain, from lethargy. My fish and Gayle my Gecko give me a forced routine, a reason for moving even when my body tells me I cannot. My role is to ensure my fish and Gayle are fed and cared for. I do this every day. If I have to crawl to get there I still do it. Its not a chore its motivation. I currently have few reasons to get out of bed. These wonderful creatures ensure I do even on my worst days.

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Jonesy the Dog of Socialism

I am in my 50's (ok 51), I have life challenges but still continue to be a father, a biker, a socialist and a human being. I fight hate and injustice in any way I can. I am me.

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