Tank Fish

Some human beings are river fish, existing in safe streams of calm water, happy to face the occasional rapid or waterfall, so long as they can see it coming. Other people are marine fish who brave the ocean for adventures and excitement, never worrying about the future, because they prefer to live for the moment. Then, there is a third kind of fish; those who exist in tanks.

I exist in a tank. It is not a tank of glass or plastic, but rather a tank of isolation. There are no walls around me, and I am free to swim where I please, but I always feel separated from the rest of my species. When I think of myself, it is as a volatile Siamese fighting fish (or Betta), stuck in a tiny compartment that segregates it. We have all seen them in pet shops and wonder how they live in such cramped spaces, but I can tell you that such an existence is more comforting than the alternative.

It is probably my fault. I am intolerant and quickly annoyed. I have high expectations and am easily disturbed by hysteria and ignorance, sometimes to the point of blinding rage. I would generally prefer to stick bamboo shoots up my fingernails than engage in trivial conversation, and am irritated by people who can’t think beyond themselves and their tiny little lives. My attitude is often misunderstood as being toxic when I simply consider it to be honest, and my constant attempts to shield my contempt with sarcasm leaves people unable to recognise true anger; a frustrating side effect.

I have built myself a nice little niche really. I have people in my life who love and respect me, are not easily offended, and can probably only stand me because they have their own little shred of dysfunction to exist alongside my own. I write because I have grown tired of the repercussions that come with hurting people’s feelings, as I don’t handle guilt well. Up until recently, I would simply save my every rant to my USB key as though it was a kind of safe for my hostility. It is my way of coping you see; of moderating the temperature in my tank. Now, I am going to moderate it openly, and I don’t give a damn who reads it.

I know that I am not the only one who lives in a tank. I know that I am not the only one who gets overwhelmed with the unbearable minutia of idiots who cause me to reconsider the theory of eugenics. I can swim in rivers, and I can swim in oceans. I can ponder the safety of one whilst marvelling the possibilities of the other, but at the end of the day, I prefer to do it in a tank, for it provides freedom from the mass stupidity that has swallowed this planet, like a virus hell bent on destruction.

No, don’t take me out of my tank, for my tank, ironically, is the only place that I can truly breathe. I am happy to share my air, if anyone wants to breathe with me.

Welcome to The Ebony Inkwell.

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