© 2021 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: A School Of Fish

Chris Fink

My eyeglasses are like a school of fish that swim through the house. Just yesterday I knew their secret hiding places. Where are they today? It’s morning, and I have my coffee. Now it’s time to read something. No glasses. I yell out to the house, as my father did before me, Who stole my spectacles?! No answer. There is never any answer. My voice must spook the fish.                                  

Credit Chris Fink

There are half a dozen glasses finning in the school, gathering and dispersing in random patterns. Cheap readers, these aren’t exotic neon tropicals. Still, they are attractive in their subdued, Midwestern way: a clear fish and a bluish fish, tortoiseshell fishes in myriad shades. Like the plecostomus, they hide from me in the dark corners of the aquarium. I look and look and look for them. Finally, they materialize in the laundry room, one on the washing machine, and another dangling lazily from the coat hook.

Some days they school like a miracle on the kitchen island, so plentiful you can’t imagine ever wanting. I reach down into the island waters and choose the crappie colored ones. They’re not hard to catch, and they’ll never swim away again. I hook the pair to my shirt collar and top off my coffee. I put food in the bowl for the black dog, Shady. Now, where did I put my phone? By the time I reach my office, the eyeglasses have slipped away. Why am I so careless? I think of my sister’s sound organizational advice:

Don’t put it down, put it away. Practical, sister. But where is the sport in that?

I’m Chris Fink and that’s my Perspective.

Related Stories