Some fish walk on land. Like the catfish. One time, we kept one in a cooler for four hours before getting home and finding out it was still breathing. I don't remember how we executed it.
Sometimes living things just suffer without dying.
When I was two I fished a tadpole out of its tank and brought it over to the couch to watch TV with me. I set it on a cushion and forgot about it. When I realized it was dead, I cried. It's probably the most perfectly sad thing that's ever happened to me.
Usually I don't hear the persistent low whine of pain until I am particularly alone and it's very late at night. Lack of air does not come from a place. If you wanted to put your finger in a hole to stop vacuum from leaking into your room, you couldn't do it.
That tadpole would have had a pretty hard time telling me that it wanted me to carry it in my palm back to its little bowl. Maybe it tried.
I have a hard time falling asleep because my bed feels uncomfortable. I guess because I know where it is, and where it isn't. As well as who's in it, and who isn't.
One time a professor who is also a psychologist told me that I "have depression." Can you really possess the absence of a thing? Maybe that catfish "had thirst."
When I find spiders or silverfish in my bathtub, I nudge them so they run onto my hand, and then I put them safely on the bathroom floor.
Sometimes I have trouble sleeping because I am remembering what it feels like to swim.