the magic fish
January 5, 2009
I was a kid my parents took me to this fair. It was exciting with lights and rides all over and cotton candy and games with prizes and there was this one game where you threw a ping pong ball at little bowls with goldfish in them and if your ping pong ball went into one of the bowls you won the fish.
My dad got me some ping pong balls and I aimed for those fish bowls but each time the ping pong ball bounced off the rim proving I probably did not have a future career as a center for the Lakers. But then the guy behind the counter who looked like an adult to me but who was probably just a kid himself said, Wait, there is a magic way to do this.
You close your eyes and then you toss it.
So I closed my eyes and I tossed my last ping pong ball and when I opened my eyes it had gone right in one of those fish bowls I won a fish.
She was white with black and red splotches and real pretty and he put her in a plastic bag of water for me and I took her home and named her Scarlett.
I did not know for a long time that was not magic.
And then one day I knew really what happened was the boy behind the counter put my ping pong ball in the fish bowl while my eyes were closed.