by Diana Gittins
As they sat together on the sagging sofa, she realised the arm on her shoulder had become a fin. She sniffed something salty. He turned to her with watery eyes. The scar on his lip quivered as if remembering an ancient hook. His acrylic grey sweater slid into silvery scales. She knew then what she had sometimes suspected: she was married to a fish.
So many years had passed. The flotsam and jetsam of passions, rejections, dejections, desires and bore holes into bodies littered their beach with bags of plastic compromise.
They were both survivors of shipwrecks, but while she had struggled to swim to shore, he floundered to and fro with the tides, more of a water man. She loved her Waterman. She had bought it in Paris years ago, but recently it had become clogged and the nib was worn. In reality, it was dead. She trawled for the other, stranded in the gap between cushion and dreams.
‘It doesn’t flow like the Waterman,’ she said. ‘But I guess it’s better than nothing.’
The fish who was her husband did not respond.
Was he still her husband? He must be, although she wasn’t sure it was legal to be married to a fish. What would the Church say if the Church could speak? Church bells, they say, put out their tongues. But all was silent.
So many mysteries.
She was hungry.
She wondered what colour his flesh was and how it would taste. Would it be more succulent baked or fried? But she had recently become a vegan and knew that eating her husband was no longer a viable option. Unless, of course, she lost her resolve. Or things got really tough. They had before. They might again.