The teller at my bank has a sign in front of her glass window that says, “Please refrain from tapping on the counter. If you were in this bowl with me, you would understand how upsetting it is. But since you aren’t, please take my word for it.”
“It’s louder than you think,” she said.
“Really?” I said, lightly tapping my finger on the counter to see how light a tap it would take for her to hear it.
“Everyone does it, and it upsets her,” she said. For a moment I thought she was speaking in the third person, like Bob Dole, until I realized she was referring to the fish in the bowl next to her. “Doesn’t it, Emanon?”
“That’s her name,” she said.
Sure enough, I noticed the note about tapping on the counter was signed, “Emanon.”
I looked into the bowl, and it took me a moment to find the fish among the plant life, but I spotted her: an orange and black striped fish with wispy fins and a tail. She came up to the glass and looked out at me, making that puckering face that fish do.
“She’s looking right at you. She likes you,” the teller said.
I wanted to say it was probably because she could sense I was pregnant, but I figured that would sound silly. The last time I was pregnant (briefly) three years ago, moths seemed to fly right at me as if they were drawn to me. It was frightening, but I attributed it to the pregnancy. I thought maybe I was emitting some pheromone that only moths smell. The pregnancy failed, but about six months later, my period was late and moths were once again flying right at me. I thought for sure I was pregnant again. But the next day I got my period, and I thought, dumb ass moths don’t know shit.
I took my deposit slip from the teller and walked away, wondering who the tapping bothers more, the fish or the teller?