The light follows wherever she goes. Constant. In each apartment
or home, the aquarium’s glow casts shadows into her days, and
her nights. Most times comforting, the hum of the pump,
its gentle bubbles rising to the surface, has become
the white noise of even her darkest days.
Controlled. There is life contained within the glass walls, fish
with a purpose, providing motion when everything else becomes still.
And silent. People come and people go. Some stay for a while,
becoming little more than lovers. She remained a convenience,
a receptacle for ego, anger, and lust.
She knew her demands would eventually push them away. She asked
for so little, and cared for so much. No exit from the outside,
survival requires time. The aquarium has few demands,
save fresh water, food, and oxygen. Simplicity.
Why aren’t all other relationships so easily sustained?
Men required more attention and could not respect who she was, or
accept what they were offered. Fools. She didn’t ask much, except
to be loved. And they moved on. Or she did. Another home,
the same furniture, anxiety and a few less memories, boxes of stuff
collected through the years, and the aquarium.
Loneliness follows her everywhere. Unrelenting. She thought she felt love,
and it destroyed all she knew. Stars now cry on hot summer nights and
the flowers simply stand there. Stillness. The aquarium provides the
only sign of life, the only beauty she continually acknowledges,
because it can be controlled.
©2014 j.g. lewis