They stood there, in the kitchen, looking at the plate she’d set on the counter.
She said, “Try it.”
And he said, “Why? What is it?”
“It doesn’t look like any fish.”
“Trust me, it is. I caught it this morning.”
“You’re a liar.”
“You don’t know the first thing about fishing.”
“Not me, the guy I bought it off of. He caught it this morning.”
Outside, the neighbor’s dog was barking, snarling. Inside, they continued on in this way.
She said, “Are you going to try it or aren’t you?”
He said, “Fine, I’ll try your stupid fish that doesn’t look like fish.”
Something like a fire truck was coming down the street. The same dogs still barking.
She said, “Well?”
He sucked on the tines of the fork.
“What does it taste like?”
“Like Mahi Mahi.”
He said, “No. It’s just the first thing that comes to mind when I think
“But it tastes like it, like fish?”
The neighbor’s dog was growling through the fence and trying to get out. It was clawing in the dirt and reaching underneath the boards and prying one loose.
She said, “I need you to understand something. Something I’d forgotten, or tried to forget.”
He said, “What was it then that I ate? The fish?”
“People think we’re coming together nicely, our friends, family. They say we’re different, different from all the rest, that we’re something special. Did you know that?”
“What do you think about that?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I think we’re more like this fish here that isn’t fish.”
He said, “What’d I eat? I mean it now, tell me.”
“We’re like imitation crab, you and me. We’re like fake Mahi Mahi.”
Down the street there was the sound of a dog barking, further now, further and further.