The best songs are usually about three minutes long.

Three minutes is also about the memory span of your average goldfish. After three minutes, without memory of previous events, can any given goldfish really be thought of as the same goldfish?

Maybe if it's a Secret Goldfish.

Goldfish are... not quite as dumb or short-memoried as they are given "credit" for. They can be conditioned fairly easily to remember things day to day, far more than three minutes.

There's a koi river at the fish store where I used to work. When people walk past it, the fish swim away to hide and escape.

Unless you're wearing a light blue shirt. Then they swarm at you and the water teems with life.

You see... the employees' shirts are this color blue. And the fish know that it's people in this color who are going to feed them eventually. Blue means food. Even new shipments of fish very quickly learn this behavioral pattern.

If you go visit, wear a blue shirt. The fish won't remember *you*. but they'll never forget your shirt. And that alone is worth watching

return to Tales from the Abyss

When the bus stopped in Culpeper, most of the riders didn't get off. Knowing that I had another five hours until we got to Williamsburg, I headed for the restroom and the snackbar. It was about 10 at night and the food counter was closed. I was at the mercy of the snack machines, and they looked puny. One bag of Barbecued pork rinds and a column of Fig Newtons. 14 other empty rows of little white half circles, snack tombstones.

I didn't notice her at first. She was sitting off to the side, curled up in and around a backpack. When I turned away with my waterbottle and shook my head, she reached into her bag and tossed me a box of animal crackers. The real ones with the circus wagon box and the little string handle.

You can have these, I got more. I stuttered out a thank you and was going to offer her some...what?...water? Kleenex? I don't know. But the bus driver honked and I scooted out to the bus and left her there.

When I looked back over my shoulder she had already closed her eyes and was trying to appear asleep. Satisfied, I was thinking. Cheap Karma.

Some days approach me like slowing down cars. I hope they'd pass me by quickly like the others before them, but they slow down ... they take longer. And too much noise in my head starts to scare me on such days.

I scan through my phone book, sometimes manually, sometimes mentally, and try to locate someone I can call and talk to. At times I call Vrinda to talk about her daughter; I self appointed myself her daughter's Godfather when she was born although I don't even know very clearly what a Godfather is besides being a novel and a 3 part movie.

Some nights I call back home and talk to my mother about Mowgli, my pet canine. I remind her to take him for his vaccination when the time for that is near. My parents laugh at the fact that I keep more concerned about Mowgli than them.

Some days I have no one to call and talk to. Some other nights I don't want to speak at all because I'm afraid that'll make me cry ... and boys don't cry right? Grown up men - Never.

So I start to run, like Lola, like Forrest, I run like I'm running to save somone's life, like I'm trying to leave the time behind. I run like I'm running away from the dense memories that are trying to stick to my skin. And I run till I'm too tired to even stand up straight.

And there are times when I'm too drained of energy to be able to run. At times like these I do the next best thing - I drink. I drink alone and I drink enough. Not too much coz that'll knock me out. Not too less - that defeats the purpose. I drink enough to be able to go sit in the balcony of my apartment and talk to myself for some time.

But drinking is not a very good idea in a lot of situations; when I'm at work for example, or when I'm at a social gathering. I am not a smoker but at times like these, I choose to kiss a Cigarette...

Yeah; I know I'm not a very strong man. I give in to the easy ways out. I think I'm just too tired. I used to be very angry and stubborn ... but now I'm just very tired; all I want is peace. With God, with my circumstances, destiny, and my self. I want to be at peace. I want to sit with God on a park bench some evening and tell him that I've given up already, I've accepted that I do not steer my own life, he does. He can stop fighting with me now. All he's doing now is rubbing it in.

Some nights I put my headphones on and give into songs. I don't choose the sad songs as such; just that the best songs are the saddest ones by default. The best Ghazals are the most heart broken ones. The best pop-rock is of the sad kind; atleast as far as my type of songs go.

Time of your life ... Miss Blue ...
Porcelain ...
Space and time ...

These are the shoulders I choose to cry on; the ears I choose to fill with so many words, the friends I hug when I'm lonely. They don't care what time of the day I call them, how long I gripe and whine. They always take my side even when I tell them that I'm probably more wrong than wronged.

They wipe my tears and put me to bed. The ever loving and faithful friends, they hold my hand till I go to sleep, then turn off the lights, kiss me goodnight and leave until the next time.

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