Big Fish by Suzanne Hyman

I’m ashamed to admit it, truly I am, but I can’t deny the fact that I’m a big fish and I live in a small pond. Actually that’s a lie, well not the big fish part, just the pond. It’s more like a fish tank.

It’s not as bad as it seems. I used to be in a fish bowl and before that I was in a tiny little plastic bag with the smallest amount of water you can imagine. It was okay because I was a baby but even then I took up the whole space of the bag and then the entire glass fish bowl and now the enormous fish tank.

It’s not my fault. I’m big boned and my gills are really large and I swallow water when I breathe and when I eat and when I used to speak to the other fish. I feel really bad about eating them, really I do, but well I have a serious problem.

I love fish. They’re just so fucking delicious and really I blame my friend, Hero, the one, who feeds me. It’s all Hero’s fault I’m like this. I never even knew that I liked fish until he gave me a taste. But then one day a tiny bit of his tuna sandwich fell into the fish bowl. It was back when I was still just a big boned, big gilled fish who minded her own business, but then the tuna fell in and I took a bite and I smiled for the first time in my whole life. Who knew a fish could smile, right? And so my friend saw it and then he gave me more tuna and I smiled even wider because I loved every delectable bite, every morsel, you can’t imagine.

Eventually he replaced all my food with fish but you see the problem with this is that it makes me gain weight and I was already big boned and big gilled for a normal fish so you can imagine how huge I got. Hero had to move me to a fish tank and everything was fine after a while because it was a huge tank but then my friend did something peculiar. He put another fish inside, not one like me, not a goldy but a really bright and colorful one. She was a real beauty that fish and so friendly and skinny but for some reason my friend named her “Sushi” and he made these gestures with his mouth and hands as if he wanted me to eat her and she looked so darn delicious, I needed a small taste and I’m ashamed to admit it but I ate Sushi. I ate her completely raw and I felt horrible but she tasted so good, I almost slurped her all up. Don’t judge me please, I can’t even stand my own judgment. It’s eating me alive—not literally, not how I devoured sushi.

I promised myself after that I’d never eat fish again because it felt awful and because my waistline was expanding so much. But then a week later, my friend dropped another fish in the tank, an orange one and he started calling him “Salmon Roll.” And yes, eventually I ate Salmon Roll. He was so scrumptious and this time I didn’t feel as bad because Salmon Roll was kind of a jerk. He kept calling me fatty and even though I tried to resist the urge to eat him, I couldn’t. And the same is true for Yellow Tail, California Roll, Spicy Tuna, and Philadelphia Roll. I remember Philadelphia Roll well with her reddish-pink skin and white fins, and shamefully my mouth is watering just thinking about her.

Sadly it seems that now I’m simply too big to have any more fish in the tank with me. Hero had to open the top of the tank just so my fin wouldn’t be squished and my mouth is all the way at one end of the tank and my tail is stuck at the other so I can’t swim around at all. At least I have Hero. He keeps me company. He’s been laughing to himself a lot lately though, mostly when he’s sharpening his knives or when he bought a new cutting board yesterday, he seemed really happy. When he looks at me, I smile at him and he smiles back and licks his lips.


Originally from Baltimore, Suzanne received her B.A. from Emory University before moving to Tel Aviv. Since moving continents, she picked up her M.A. in Creative Writing, a fiancé, and a writing career. She’s currently writing her first novel. Her fiction was previously published in The Writing Disorder.