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Hallucination: Talking Fish January 2, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Delusions, Hallucinations, Hearing Voices, mental illness.
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From the middle of the Cabela’s sporting goods store soared a giant mountain, divided into various seasonal regions and sporting various groups of taxidermy animals. White rams and polar bears posed in the snow section, which was the smallest portion of the display.

Gold and red leaves, signifying the arrival of Fall on the mountain, showcased mountain goats and rams perched above steep boulders. Foxes, wolves, brown bears, deer, elk, and moose- all real-looking-  posed on real- looking grass throughout the mountain.  Real logs, having the appearance of  falling where they landed, crossed over the path of two giant waterfalls cascading from each side of the mountain.  Each flowed separately down each side of the mountain, terminating in two enormous  pools that circled around half the mountain, connecting each side of the waterfall together into one great pool of water.   The three foot high pool formed a relatively shallow pond for the various fish to live in.  A large cave, appearing to have been dug through the center of the mountain, provided a viewing area inside the mountain as the fish swam from pond to pond.

Curtains of thick glass formed the walls of the interior of the cave, designed as a viewing area for the fish in that well-stocked aquarium. Live perch, catfish, and steelhead swam back and forth from pool to waterfall to connecting pool, inside, outside, and all around  the enormous aquarium.  It all made for a fabulous display.

I wandered inside the dark cavern that housed the aquarium, where the thick glass walls separated me from the miscellaneous collection of steelhead, perch, and catfish swimming in the pristine aquarium water.  A few paces in front of me a young boy of about 10 stood with his back to me, admiring a little school of perch. Behind me a few paces, I turned to watch an old man stare at a large steelhead.

As I gazed at a school of fish drifting in front of me, a tiny little gray perch broke away from the others and swam in my direction, stopping right in front of my face.  Hovering in one spot, he stared at me with unblinking eyes.  I returned his stare.  Suddenly, in a little-boy voice, the perch said “Hi!”.  Nothing more, just “Hi”.   Astonished, I quickly looked around at the young boy and old man, wondering whether they, too, had heard the little fish speak. Clearly they had heard nothing, since they were both still glued to the same spot they had been standing at before my little perch talked to me.  Realizing that I was the only one that heard that little fish, I quickly moved on through the display, afraid- for a moment- just a moment- that I was losing my mind.

Halfway through the display, I stopped in front of an enormous old catfish.  Initially, he had his back to me, slowing turning around to stare at me. Two clumps of long gray cat-whiskers poked out from either side of his old oval frowning face.   Locking eyes with me, he proceeded to stare me down.   Eyes narrowed, I started back at him, refusing to blink.   Scowling at me, he addressed me in a grumpy old-man voice. “What the Hell are YOU staring at, asshole?”.   Amazed once again at the talking fish, I surveyed the other two patrons for evidence that the fish were also talking to them.  Clearly those other two patrons  weren’t talking with fish, nor had they seen or heard my interaction with the fish.  Initially frightened about hearing talking fish,  I quickly moved through the rest of the display, almost running, refusing to stop and gaze at any more fish for fear that they’d talk to me too. I moved through that display to the natural daylight as fast as I could, away from the prying eyes of the fish and the humans,  not stopping until I was once again back in broad daylight.

I took a few deep breaths, trying to calm myself.  After a several seconds, my initial panic about hearing the fish talk was replaced by a clear understanding of the situation.  It dawned on me:  there was absolutely nothing wrong with fish talking to Mermaids.  It was perfectly natural and even understandable. Mermaids, after all, were just giant fish.

Even so, I quickly realized that it was best not to discuss the talking fish with anyone. They wouldn’t understand.  So I kept silent.