Friday, December 5, 2008

I should have listened when they told me to bow

Apparently I'm being sent a message by my neighbors: straighten up, gaijin, or you're sleeping with the fishes. I found this on my balcony yesterday morning.

Yep - behind that beautiful little thyme plant, it's a dead fish. DEAD FISH. On my balcony. A dead fish.

Let me paint the picture for you. I've been getting up really early this week, before 6:00, to have coffee with Josh before he heads off to the gym and work. We've always had different sleeping schedules, and neither of us likes it, so I'm trying to adjust. (Nota bene: I'm tired and getting up at 5:30 fucking sucks.) Yesterday was no exception; we got up early and I made us coffee, then Josh left around seven and I stayed on the couch, chatting on Skype and surfing the web until eight thirty. I had to leave at 9:15 to meet up with a tour group visiting a Japanese department store.

So at 8:30 I got up to rush to the shower and, for some reason, looked out the sliding glass door and saw Mr. Swimmy there. I, of course, froze in place and stared at it for about 3 minutes, a puddle of astonished drool forming at my feet. Then I remembered the time and thought to myself...I'm just going to pretend I didn't see that and hope it's gone when I get home.

It wasn't.

I went on the stupid "tour," which consisted of English-speaking employees taking the group to each floor and saying "this is the sixth floor. Meet here in an hour and we'll go to the fifth floor." Thanks, I couldn't read the floor numbers, which are the ONLY THINGS I UNDERSTAND. Grr. But anyway, when I came home the fish was still there, and I knew what I had to do. I had to ignore it until Josh came home and then pull the dainty laydee card and make him dispose of it.

NO! I'm a FEMINIST, dammit, didn't you read the masthead? And I am the home-maker, these days, and I eat nicely butchered and filleted raw fish all the time, and I can DO THIS. I put my big girl pants on and psyched myself up - standing in the living room with an inside-out ziploc bag on my hand, saying "It's just a dead fish! I handle dead fish all the time and this is no different. Just don't look it in the eyes, it's dead, it is DEFINITELY not going to spring to life and eat my face off. Probably." And I grabbed and sealed it up, and threw it away.

Well, I sealed it up and poked at it through the bag for a while, then sealed that bag in another one, tossed it, shuddered mightily, and plunged my hands into a bucket of turpentine. But whatever.

I don't really think it was a message from the neighbors (OR DO I) since we have flocks of seahawks, which I just learned are ospreys thanks Mom!, swarming around the ocean across the street. I could see a long gash near the fish's gills, and its poor little ribs were sticking out, and I think some osprey lost the little sucker and couldn't see where it dropped. Also if it were a threat from a person here, it probably would have been wrapped beautifully in expensive paper.

Really I think the opposite of what I said - I think this is a good omen. You know how when the cat brings you a mouse, it's an offering? I'm going with that.

Bright blessings are dropping from the sky - what a life I lead.


Anonymous said...


Well, yes, though. I would go with it's a sign of good luck. You are being sent best fishes or something.

Nantucket Washashore (aka Linda Sonnonstine) said...

Hi, Emily...Osprey are big here on Nantucket, where they arrive each spring to nest on big poles set out around the island for that purpose. In fact the first day of spring here is marked by the sighting of the first osprey coming to nest. They make their nests out of all kinds of material. Local researchers have found mirrors, Barbie dolls and other strange objects comprising their nests. Some rich summer folks stocked koi in their ponds at their mansions and came back to find the osprey had enjoyed them immensely as an expensive meal! Friends of ours living nearby at the MASS Field Station saw the osprey flying overhead with the koi in their bills.