My giant fish tank at the entrance to my house started a slow leak so I took on the job of draining the tank knowing that there were no live fish. I put in a tube and began draining and as I got down to the bottom I found one of those beautiful black-fish-that-eat-the-algae alive and well!
How did he live in the cold water? I had no heater for a week and he lived through that and I never saw him. Ok, I ran to the kitchen and found a large 3 gallon rice container and put him in there. This was Saturday afternoon.
Sunday at 10am when Petco opened, I was there with fish-in-hand asking to rent a room for him. You must have some empty tank or big fish bowl and I will pay you to watch over him. The manager said, “Just fix your tank; he can live for 7 days in this container.” Ok, 7 days is what it took to create the world. Surely, this was enough time.
Since I had him in the car, I started talking to him to allay his fears and mine too because I am not a “fix it” person. Each time I try to fix something I seem to cause more problems.
I called him Buddy. Day two the tank was dry enough to begin scrapping the mineral sediments and the old sealant off the fish tank. He was swimming nearby and I talked to him about all kinds of things. Like, how hard it is to ask people to read my 360 page second edition of the Art of Film Funding and give me a blurb. Who has time to do that? But, I need to get statements good enough to put on a book cover and this is how it is done. He seemed to understand all this and kept moving to let me know he was still alive or to agree, I am not sure which.
Day three I applied the silicone to the sides with my nervous fingers. I never saw the applicator top and the tank looked like someone with palsy had repaired it but all areas were amply covered. It would take 24 hours to dry. I filled the time with discussions with Buddy about the confidence I had when I wrote the book that now seems to have vanished. I explained how important it is to stay confident because marketing is the only way to get your information to your audience. He kept moving around the sides and seemed to be listening. Well, he was a captive audience, but there was more going on here. I just don’t know how to explain it.
Day four, the fish tank dried. The stress was on. Would it hold 50 gallons and not leak? Suddenly, when Brianne carried the fish tank downstairs, I realized that Buddy would not be nearby and I began to miss him. His fortitude gave me the confidence I needed to fix the tank and make a lot of “asks” from people in the industry for book comments. Somehow, these things are related.
Day five and good news; the fish tank is successfully repaired. Buddy is in his clean home and most importantly, I now realize that he is not a black-fish-that-eats-the-algae, he is a courageous plecostomus, a living, feeling creature and my friend, Buddy.