Thursday, May 24, 2007

Corals and Crabs and Blennys ... Oh, My!

In the beginning, the Marketing department setup an aquarium and a light.

Marketing saw the illuminating power of the SunPod and it was good.

It was all good.

Alas, the waters were not calm in this supposed sea of tranquility.

For Current USA divided the SunPond in two; they called the light day, and the darkness night. A metal halide HQI lamp produced the daylight, with blue and white lunar LED lights completing the 24-hour cycle.

Of course, a lot can happen in 24-hours. Just ask Kiefer Sutherland.

I left the office yesterday around 5 PM. Marketing’s nano reef was ostensibly harmonious prior to my departure, so I had no trouble bidding adieu to the tank’s residents before taking off for the evening.

I said farewell to the feather dusters, late to the plate coral, ciao to the crabs and buh-bye to the blenny. I head into the dusk, blissfully unaware that death was waiting on our doorstep.

I arrived at work this morning and was greeted by the rigid corpse of Blenny Kravitz. His lifeless body lay peacefully on top of a 6” x 9” sheet of steno notebook paper.

I was shocked, immediately entering the first phase of grief feeling utter disbelief and numbness.

Next stop: denial. “I don’t believe it!” I cried. “It can’t be!”

Of course, it could be … and was. I mean, there was clearly a dead fish on my desk. The evidence was irrefutable.

What wasn’t clear, however, was the cause of death.

Was Blenny the jumper in an apparent suicide, or was foul play involved? Did my Hermit and Pom Pom Crabs form an alliance and gang up on Blenny? Even worse, am I to blame? Am I a lousy reef keeper?

Guilt is a difficult stage and hard to deal with on your own. I asked our photographer, Royce, “Let’s assume for a second that Blenny wasn’t dead but just appeared dead. If I had dropped him back into the tank, do you think he would have survived?”

Royce told me that Blenny was dead and that I shouldn’t blame myself. I feel guilty though because I didn’t like him when I first stuck him in the tank. He had a face only a mother could love. She would have had to have been one crazy mutha too because Blenny was downright ugly. Yet his repulsiveness began to grow on me.

Soon after came anger. “How could you do this, Blenny, huh?” I beseeched. “What’d I ever do to you?”

Depression began to set in as I scrapped him off my notebook into the trash or, as Royce calls it, an “open casket.” I encouraged my colleagues to come by and pay their respects but evidently they already made peace with the situation.

Scott, a purchaser, said he blames the school system. I’m not sure if he was referring to me or the fish, but either way he’s probably right.

Our new web designer, Ryan, asked if anything unusual happened recently that may suggest something like this might happen; strangers around the neighborhood, odd phone calls. Ryan’s insight has been crucial to the investigation of Blenny’s death. He stated that since he jumped out of the tank and on to my notepad, this may have been Blenny’s way of leaving behind a suicide note.

I was confident I had segued into the final stages of the grieving process—acceptance and hope—when I began shopping for replacement fish this afternoon on MarineDepotLive.com’s website. I accept that Blenny is no longer with us; I hope I have better luck with my new undersea friends.

The last thing I want is for my fish haven to become known as fish heaven.

In closing, I’d like to leave you, dear reader, with an excerpt from the eulogy Royce wrote for Blenny:

The death of a friend to suicide is the hardest to face. Do not judge Blenny’s life by his last hour; for this is only a tiny percentage of his entire life. Let us remember Blenny Kravitz for when he was with us.

RIP Blenny Kravitz
May 21st 2007 - May 24th 2007