30 August 2003

A Fish Born in a Tank

I was 16 or 17 when I attended my friend, F's bithday party. I forgot if it was her debut. Nevertheless, this is not about her. This is about something memorable I found in her house, aside from her father's fabulous lasagna, the thick Tom Clancy book, and seeing F drink one glass of San Miguel Beer, plus her hip foreign boyfriend (knowing F is the shy, lame type of girl, that's why we're friends, because we were both lame--at that time--though of course we had our potentials, I was just surprised and quite irritated that she realized hers first).

In her house was a big fish tank. The fish tank was not beautiful; not the kind that I would dream for my own, not even the kind that was decent enough. In the fish tank was one thing: a big fish. A fish as big as my face, which is a normal size for a face. I looked at it with another friend, R, and what I was able to formulate in my head and finally utter was not what kind of a fish it was, but how sad it was for this fish to be swimming in a very small tank. R replied that, it doesn't matter, the fish was born in that tank, therefore, it knows no other world. That was comforting for me, for my sympathy for the fish, but very disturbing for myself.

Lucky for the fish born in the tank. It does not dream of the ocean.

Me, I pine for that ocean. How hard it is for us to know that yes, there are those who are beautiful, that yes, there are those who earn a billion per month, that yes, there are those who find authentic love, and yes, there is wisdom and peace of mind, and yes, there are those who die unhappy.

Knowledge is such a dagger in the mind. Sad for us that we live in our minds.

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