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The Department of Remorse

Published in Fail Better - Vol. 62 Winter 2020

"She named the fish Hamilton, after another secretary, another fish. The name seemed absurdly grand for the tiny being that occupied the bowl on her desk, with its seeming affectations — every morning swimming backwards in anticipation of being fed. To her, this was an affectation, an unwarranted display, which meant what? A dance, a preparatory dance — to the crumbs of food it would get in its artful, yet perhaps too minimally described bowl. She coddled this fish, she made sure its water was sparkling, re-warmed, fit for a governmental fish. She didn’t neglect it, no matter what happened at work, to do so would have allowed a measure of emotion to permeate her aspect, which she would not do."

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