April 2nd

Being unemployed has presented some challenges. I’ve heard that some pets suffer from a condition named ‘separation anxiety’. For example, since I’ve been home a lot, I notice that Kenneth, my goldfish, spends a lot of time looking in my direction during breakfast. This is nice as I appreciate the company. Before, he spent a lot of time examining the small piece of broken plaster-wall adjacent to his tank. I worry that when I go back to work, that he might become depressed and go back to only staring at the broken-wall plaster bit.

I looked up ‘Goldfish and Mental Health’ and the results were misleading, as I found a lot of entries that said that goldfish are good for mental health. This is not true as I have multiple stressful dreams where I have found Kenneth contained in plastic wrap in the refrigerator and I feel obliged to eat him or else he goes to waste. This is extremely disturbing. My book named ‘My Book On Dreams’ was vague about the meaning of this, but claims that I might feel I have disappointed someone. Or in this case, Kenneth.

It is difficult to assess Kenneth’s wellbeing, given that Kenneth’s primary behavior is swimming, although for a goldfish, this is apparently normal. I wish he did other things, but that is basically it.

Even so, his swimming habit are not conventional, as with one fin slightly smaller than the other, he swims in very tight circles and tends to gradually descend down into the bowl. After around two and a half minutes, he moves rapidly to the surface and makes a series of gasping expressions, and then begins spiraling slowly down again, repeating the process.

I find watching this calming.

Generally speaking I think Kenneth is happy enough. I’m not sure how he would tell me that he wasn’t happy, but I assume his rotational swimming habits would become more erratic. I feed him spam sandwiches once a day (he will eat nothing else), and while he is not increasing in size, or showing any other form of change whatsoever, he is also not dead, which is important.