The fish now solitary pressed on, head perfectly balanced on a plumb line to a point B as body and tail did their own disarticulated thing.
It dipped and dropped a foot or so, slipped into a ribbon of cooler water.
It slowed down. It was darker here at the sea bed, but the fish was not scared. It was the happiest it had ever felt from fin to fin, because at that moment, for that time, the water temperature was perfect.
The fish came to almost a complete halt, maintaining now only the smoothest of tail actions to keep it from being swept backwards in the current.
For want of eyelids the fish closed its mind to better relish in the sensation, the absolute pleasure of being neither too hot nor too cold, at being perfectly tepid all over.
It wouldn’t last, it couldn’t. The current would turn warm and it would lose its ability to think so clearly; or icy cold and it would lose the energy to swim. If only this could last forever.
The fish opened its mind, pivoted 90° to a clean vertical, and sped to the water’s surface.
They had made love before breakfast. Lazy and non-committal. It felt required of them; the boat rental was expensive and it was their last day.
It was almost 8 and the sun had risen over the calm sea for another unfiltered day. Up on deck now, he was a little too warm, and her coffee was already cold.
The fish shot up out of the sea, skywards, on a seemingly star-bound trajectory, a trail of crystal droplets falling away from its tail.
She took a sharp intake of breath and held it, eyes riveted on the silver projectile.
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, and then gravity played its minor chord and the fish felt the pull of the Earth.
“Wow” he said unzipping his hoodie.
She poured herself some more coffee from the pot in the hope it would be warmer.
“I wonder why they do that.”