Fish swam through the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as he always did and as the hundreds of fish next to him always did. He didn’t much care for swimming, to be honest. Occasionally a beam of sunlight would shimmer through from the surface, or he would see another bunch of fish swimming through the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as they always did, but for the most part all he saw were the other fish of his school. It wasn’t the most exciting thing that Fish could imagine doing, but he figured he might as well swim around some more.
After a while, Fish stopped swimming. He felt that he had been swimming far too long and that he deserved a break. The other fish stopped, sensing a disturbance in their formation.
“What are you doing?” one of the other fish asked Fish. The school turned around in unison and all of his fishy brothers and sisters were staring.
“I don’t really feel like swimming right now, is that okay?” Fish inquired, bobbing silently in the water.
“No, it is not okay,” one fish blurted out.
“No! It is what we do! We swim! We swim together and sometimes we eat some floating green stuff and then we swim!” said another.
“Yes, I get that we swim all the time and that it cool and stuff. But why can’t we try something else for a change?” Fish said, doing the fish equivalent of shrugging his shoulders.
“I don’t know, maybe we could… sit and talk about our feelings. Or maybe we could start a jazz fusion combo. I mean, we have a few too many but we can put some fish on tambourine and-”
“No, we are going to swim over this way now,” one of the fish said.
“And then we are going to turn to the left and swim some more,” said a fish in the back.
“Why do you hate us? Why don’t you want to swim?”
“You’re weird, dude.”
Fish darted back and forth nervously, “We can still swim sometimes, but there is more to life than swimmi-”
“We are going to keep swimming.”
“Come along, if you’d like.”
“We’re just gonna leave you here to do a jazz whatever if you don’t want to swim, though.”
The fish turned away from Fish and swam away, fading into the murky brine.
“Wait! Stop! I’ll swim with you!” Fish called out to the indistinct, silvery blob of his friends and extended family. They stopped.
“Are you sure?” one of the fish said.
“We can always just keep swimming without you if you want.”
“No, I love to swim! I want to just swim all day long and eat some floating green stuff and then swim some more! It is my favorite! I don’t know what I was thinking before, who needs that other not swimming stuff?” Fish pleaded frantically.
“You don’t seem too be too into swimming.”
“Sure I am! I’ll show you!” Fish swam forward and turned around. Then he turned around and swam that way and up and down.
“Alright, you showed us your moves. You can keep swimming with us.”
“Just don’t get all weird and talk about that whole… ‘not swimming’ thing again.”
“Never, I wouldn’t dream of it or anything else besides swimming!” Fish swam up a little closer to his fellow fish.
“Get back in here, buddy!”
“Yeah, we’ve got swimming to do!”
“Ha ha… this is so great, thank you guys,” Fish said. And so Fish continued swimming with the other fish, occasionally turning and eating some floating green stuff, as he always had and would always do. Every once and a while he would think about how nice it would be to start a jazz fusion combo or to write some poetry, but it was okay. Nobody could see him cry.