Sunday, July 23, 2006


It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Jean-Pascal, my betta. Some time between yesterday afternoon and today, his finny little body wiggled for the last time. Now he has gone on to the place where many other bettas have gone before him. Rufus. Checkers. Drewfish. Chinese Checkers. George Washington Carver 2. And the one that I didn’t name because it died before I could think of one. By my estimation, he lived just over three years.

It is also with great sadness that I note that I have no photographic evidence of Jean-Pascal, though he’s lived with me since the end of my senior year of college. I needed something, so I took this.

May this photo depicting his out-of-focus death grimace remind us all that we may so lose our friends, often to corrosive bowl fungus that suffocate the respiratory system in a chalky, white beard.

I would have never named a fish something I had trouble spelling. Brie named him, but then gave him to me when her love of all things French took her to Nice. Since then, Jean-Pascal has always been there, slowly floating about. At the Pasado House. At my parents’ house while I was in Washington. The Bath Street apartment. The house on Cathedral Oaks. At Spencer’s for the period I was homeless during which he survived being put out on the balcony because “he looked like he needed air.” And now here. Honestly, by being a long-term resident of the house in Hollister and by initially living at Brie’s place, he’s actually lived more places than I have.

Jean-Pascal was a good fish. He also got to ride in a car more often than most fish do, I'd wager. And for whatever reason, his death has made me sadder than I would have expected. At least I’ll always have the above photo to remember him by. That and his bowl. What the hell am I going to do with his bowl?

[ i shall never hear thy sweet chirrup more, alas! ]


  1. Garcon sends his sympathies

  2. Anonymous7:01 PM

    he looks like a piranah

  3. Anonymous1:45 PM

    Might have been his tank size. It's very hard to keep a betta in a bowl. Try a 2.5 gallon tank. You'll love it, trust me