“What are you doing?” the trout asks.

“I’m turning on the heat.”

“Leave it off.”

Alan Turing does. “My wife is very smart,” he says. He doesn’t look at the fish while he speaks. “She’s intense and I sometimes wonder what she sees in me.” Alan Turing smiles sadly. “Lately, I’ve been distant and, I guess, not very responsive. I don’t know why. Anyway, I became distant and she became distant and the whole thing just kind of snowballed. I’ve been working a lot lately. But that’s not really it. I mean, it hasn’t been work. I’ve been – how can I put it – lost, sick, stupid. I’m simply not happy with life.” Alan Turning glances at the trout. The fish looks bored. “I know it sound dumb. Midlife shit and all that. But now I’m afraid I’ve pushed Barbara far enough away that she’s looking for someone else.”

The trout seems to struggle with a breath, flops its tail against the fabric of Alan Turing’s trousers.

“We still have sex, but that’s all it is, I think. Sex. It feels so empty. It never felt like I had to search for the feeling before. I’m so scared. We don’t even argue. We’re just creating a gentle, uncrossable distance. And then I get mad and I want to tell her to go away.” Alan Turing is crying. “It’s life, too, you know. It’s this day-to-day stuff. I don’t know why I do anything. I do my research, but it’s for shit. I read the news and it goes in one eye and out the other. I haven’t heard a good joke in years. And my wife is sleeping with someone else and still fucking me.”

The fish says nothing.

Alan Turing pulls into his driveway and turns off his car’s engine. He gives the trout a look and says, “Wait here.” He gets out and walks across the yard, the grass of the lawn he hates so much feeling soft and moist under his feet. His hands are shaking. He enters the house and stands inside the foyer. He calls out for his wife. “Barbara!” There is an urgency in his voice that he hears, that at some other time he might seek to control, but not at this moment. “Barbara!”

Barbara comes down the stairs. She is wearing a robe, a towel wrapped around her head. “What is it?”

“Why do we do this?” Alan Turing asks.

“What’s wrong?”

“Everything’s wrong, Barbara. Look at us. Look at us.”

Barbara clutches her robe closed.

“Yeah, close up. Heaven forbid I should see you naked in the light. It might lead to lovemaking instead of fucking.”

“Alan,” she complains.

Alan Turing is pacing. He stops and stares at her. “What’s happened to us? To everything?” Inside his head, reality seems far away and unreachable. “Come outside with me. I want to show you something.”

“I’m not dressed.”

“It doesn’t matter. Come on. Come on!”

Barbara flinches.

“Come on,” Alan Turing says more gently.

“Alan, you’re scaring me.”

“I’m scared, too.”

“What do you want to show me?” she asks.

“Just come with me. Please?”

Barbara nods and steps through the door he is holding open for her. She follows him across the yard. He leads her to his car in the driveway. He turns and watches her look across the street for neighbours.

At the car, he looks in and the big trout is not there. There is a very little minnow dead on the passenger seat of his car.