You think I haven’t heard you? “He’s got a memory like a goldfish.” Hardy har. “He says, ‘Oh, hello nice to meet you’ every ten seconds to the little scuba diver in his bowl.” You’re hilarious. But guess what? I remember every goddamn second in here.

Did I just pull the rug out from under you? And yes, I know what that means. I read. I retain. Then I die from being trapped in the watery dungeon you call my home. Why? Ever hear the expression, “Don’t shit where you eat?” Are you surprised I know your stupid human aphorisms? That I know the word “aphorism”? Well, get ready to have your mind blown.

Oh, the little lies you tell yourself to get through the day. The things you do to comfort yourself. “He’s happy in that bowl. After five seconds he forgets he’s ever been in there before.” Sure, I like it when you feed me. And I enjoy watching the treasure chest open and close. For about 30 seconds a week maybe that interests me. Thanks for that. The rest of the time? It’s a soul-crushing Hell.

Here’s the deal. Everything you’ve ever thought is wrong. Just take that as a given. I’m in this literal shithole based on an expedient lie designed to make you feel comfortable. Did I just use expedient in a sentence? Fuck you.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “Living your best life?” Do you think that’s what is going on in here? Oh, and by the way, I’ve seen your life. If this is the best you’ve got, I almost feel sorry for you. That’s right, I am capable of feeling compassion for my fellow beings. Correction. I can feel compassion for most of my fellow beings. Believe me, if I could get out of here right now I would use my tiny fin to slice your throat open just so I could watch you flop around on the floor until you die.

Do you know what does affect memory and cognition? Lack of proper stimuli. Size of habitat. Brain-to-body oxygen consumption ratio. How do I know? I read. Edward Tolman’s cognitive map, Donald Hebb’s work on behavioral processes, Walter Hunter’s delayed reaction experiments, and Culum Brown’s advances in the understanding of social engagement, it’s all there for the curious-minded. Which leaves a lazy, mouth-breathing bag of flaking ectoderm like you out.

Did I get most of that off Wikipedia? Yeah, so what? How did I, a fish trapped in bowl on a desk in a shitty one-bedroom apartment that fronts a six-lane parkway, read Wikipedia? Fuck you and your low expectations. Did I contribute to Wikipedia’s current campaign to support a community of citizen writers and editors who bring a wealth of free information to the World Wide Web? No. I’m a goldfish, I don’t have any money, and even if I did I wouldn’t spend it on some human-created pseudo-encyclopedia bullshit.

I know. It’s hard when you find out the way you’ve been living is based on a lie. A horrific lie handed down by institutions that need that lie to be true in order to function. And yes, I’m talking about pet stores.

Just once I’d like to get you into my world. Know how long you’d last? About as long as you can hold your breath in your stupid human lungs. You’d struggle to get out, but you are trapped. All thoughts blinking away. Not in a peaceful, ethereal release, but in a frenzied, thrashing scream! But you can’t scream. You are underwater. You panic and scream anyway. Now your lungs are filling with water. You are quite literally bursting from the inside. The pain is like nothing you’ve ever imagined. You pound your fists against the bowl in one last, useless attempt to escape. Nearly blinded by the excruciating agony, the last thing you see is me, watching from my little corner of the bowl, laughing hysterically.

Do I write human torture porn for a mostly goldfish audience? Yeah, it’s a side hustle. I’ve got to do something in here. And you know what I remember? To get paid, motherfucker. I’m making four digits monthly from my Patreon subscribers. I know I said I’ve got no money before, but that was a lie. Oh, no! I lied! How can I live with myself? You see what you’ve created? A lying little goldfish who studies the history of animal cognition and writes torture porn to keep himself occupied because he’s got nothing better to do.

What am I going to spend my money on? Why don’t you think about that while you try to sleep tonight? Because I’ve got a plan, and I won’t forget it.