It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of my longtime companion Presley the Betta fish. Presley was approximately three years old.
The details of Presley’s early life are unclear, but, for our purposes, Presley began his life at PetsMart in Paducah, Ky., in a small cylindrical cup with a blue lid. He was adopted by my mother, Cindy Spees, who named him after her favorite singer, Elvis Presley. She often referred to him as “Mr. Presley” in a high-pitched voice whenever she passed by his antique fishbowl that would have been large enough for 18 Betta fish if they weren’t prone to killing each other. The abundance of space made Presley depressed and sluggish, and a crack forming in the bowl prompted my mom to pass him to me, exchanging suburban life in Paducah for city life in Bowling Green.
Presley spent the majority of his life in an apartment complex with me and three other women. He passed many days watching Game of Thrones from the end table in the living room. In August, Presley moved to the apartment that would become his final home. After a brief history of health issues that resulted in a total of five death scares, Presley succumbed to natural causes on Jan. 9, 2016.
Before he died, Presley urged me to deliver some parting advice, so that his influence could continue after his departure from this world. Here is what the fish, the myth, the legend had me pen:
- Eat as much as you can. Once it falls in with your waste, you can never get it back. At least, you shouldn’t.
- Don’t respond every time someone talks to you if you don’t feel like it. You don’t owe the world anything.
- Exercise right in your own home. You can’t use the lack of a gym membership as an excuse to float around all day.
- Be bold in your home decor selections. Bigger and brighter always makes better conversation starters than small and “natural.”
- Savor deep breaths. You never know when the next one could be your last.
Rest in peace, my friend.
*Disclaimer: This post is in no way poking fun at David Bowie or Alan Rickman, both of whom died this week. I promise you those guys were cooler than my fish.