From the archives. A little day trip my beloved and I took back in 2007.
This weekend hubbie and I went to the aquarium. Nice little place, the aquarium. Very colorful, very tranquil. In my next life I'd like to be a fish in an aquarium. Not just any fish, though. I'd like to be one of those pretty, bright colorful fish that swims within the coral reefs in a nice, big tank. Now you ask, why not a fish that swims within the coral reefs of an ocean? You have freedom, it's more natural. Well, because in the ocean, there is a very high probability that my life would be cut short by an even bigger fish than me who is hungry for dinner. And I would find that a little stressful.
So we go to the aquarium with my brother and sister-in-law. Funny little pair those two, very entertaining, very nice. I like nice people. As soon as we arrive we decide to see the seal show. We go see Java the seal perform superior tricks because this is what one does when one goes to one of these places. Java the seal probably weighs 2 to 3 times my body weight. Well no wonder, everytime he does a trick he gets fed a fish. Now I ask: Why can't I be fed every time I do a trick? But I digress. We're watching Java earn his meal. Java strikes a pose. Now Java waves to the crowd. Hey, Java dances! Ok, I'm bored, I've seen this before, show me a new trick. How about Java speak human language? Can Java do that? Have Java say, "Please, Sir, may I have some more?" a la Oliver Twist. Now that would impress me! But, no, of course he can't do that. *yawn*
But while Java is doing his superwonderful, amazing tricks and keeping the crowd entertained, I notice there is a bee buzzing within my area of comfort. He buzzes and lands unsuccessfully on people around me who are too busy watching the overfed Java do tricks to notice or even care that a bee is invading their space. But the bee, truth be told, does not seem interested in them anyway; or, maybe he just doesn't care for their taste. Frankly, neither do I. If these people think Java is so wonderful and magnificent, then they have set their bars really low and expect very little from the universe. But I digress. So I'm watching this bee and I'm sure the bee is watching me, but eventually he buzzes away. And I relax because I hate bees, wasps, flies, mosquitoes (any of those little annoying bugs that fly and give me welts). And then, then....it stings me! Right on the back of my neck. Well I, of course, scream and jump around like a girl. Yes, like a girl because I am a girl. And I inadvertently hit my husband and the man sitting on the other side of me. This man, not at all appreciative of my sudden dance movements, proceeds to move as far away from me as possible while mumbling under his breath something to the effect that I was rude to have hit him. My husband tells me to calm down and that I'm imagining things. I show him my welt. I point to the bee. I'm still imagining, he says. "I am not!" is my intelligent, mature response. The people behind me stare in disbelief -- what is wrong with this woman? To this, supportive hubbie jumps in on the opportunity to further cement these people's misguided opinions of me, and shrugs as if to say, yes, this is her normal and this is my life. Meanwhile, Java is looking in my direction wondering what the commotion is all about and not at all pleased that I am stealing his spotlight and probably thinking that he will now have to share his fish. Listen, you no-talent leech, I don't want your fish, so relax! Meanwhile, the turistas, my brother and his beloved, are being so entertained by Java that they miss the real show behind them, namely, me and the bee. Really, they've been to dozens of aquariums and seen dozens of seal shows, yet there they're acting like this is their first time with the oohhs and ahhs. Honestly.
Then I see the bee again. Aha! He is heading Java's way. I see this. No one else does, but I do. And the bee starts to annoy Java. Java tries to shoo him away. It doesn't work. The bee stings Java. Now Java jumps into the water and won't come out. Show's over. Ohhh, too bad, so sad! And now everybody is upset and concerned about Java. Everybody is upset and concerned that he got stung by a bee. Me? I laugh. I laugh real hard.
So now we head over to see the sharks. Big, big tank with big, big sharks. Lots of sharks. In a big, big tank. Did I already say that? Yeah, big. Pretty awesome. But seeing them up close was a little disconcerting I must say. You get to see their sets of teeth. Many, many teeth. Many, many big, menacing-looking teeth. They swim by the tank glass looking at us looking at them and they show us their teeth. Hmm? You think they're trying to tell us something? But I digress. These sharks are swimming to and fro; to and fro looking for meat. Specifically, human meat in the cage they can't get to. The cage in the tank where they submerge the adventurous so they can "swim" with the sharks and, of course, tease the hell out of them. At least that's what they advertise: do you dare swim with the sharks? Except it's false advertisement because you're not really swimming with the sharks. You're in a cage and rightly so because now you're in their territory and you need steel bars to protect you. I forgo the adventure; well, not much of an adventure there really. How about sticking them in there with only a spear to protect them? Now that would be swimming with the sharks! But I don't think it would be a good tourist attraction. It'd be fun for the sharks but a killer for the humans. So long, Buster, nice knowing ya!
Okay, enough of that, they're making me nervous. I need tranquility. We head over to the coral reef to see the multitude of beautiful, gorgeous fish that swim there. I love this tank. I love these fish. They're so pretty. I go by the tank and look into it like a kid with her eyes filled with wonder. Now, I know everyone around me was probably thinking I was strange and most likely thinking I got a day pass from the "special" home. But I don't care. I like fish. I want to be one of those beautiful fish that swims within the swaying, gentle sea gardens. What a nice life. No stress. Beautiful environment all the time that you don't have to upkeep yourself. You don't have to work for a living. You're fed all the time. Yeah, I like it here. Bright colored fish with art painted on them. Oh, they're so pretty! Art in motion. So beautiful and so very, very calming. I take pictures. I just sit and stare and dream I'm a fish.
My husband taps me on the shoulder taking me out of my reverie, "Come on, enough of that, I'm gonna show you something really cool." He takes me to see the ever so colorful (sarcasm), so lively (sarcasm) piranhas. Not very attractive fish I must say. Actually ugly would be the adjective I'd best use. Ugh! No pretty colors on them at all and they have way too many teeth. Wait a minute, they don't swim? They're immobile in the water! Hmm? I wonder why? Will have to google it when I get home. I tell hubby I'm not impressed, I think they're ugly and I'm going back to the coral tank. He grabs my hand and leads me outside. We're walking over to the monkey cage. Three snow monkeys. Two grooming-obsessed monkeys grooming each other and one, lone, uninterested, smart monkey, trying to figure a way out. This monkey was entertaining. Spent all of his energy studying and inspecting the cage to see if there were any tears. He chewed on it to no avail; he moved it violently to no avail. Over and over again. Meanwhile, Ma and Pa Kettle were still grooming themselves oblivious to all of this and talking about their next meal.
And that is how I spent my day at the aquarium, going from tank to tank, cage to cage. And what did I learn? I learned that seals are smarter than us; they get stung by a bee, they leave, we stay. I learned that we are just a couple of bars away from being fish food; we just need that one shark that's had a really bad day. I learned to never accept and resign yourself to the cage people have built for you, get the hell out if you can. But, most of all, I learned that in the midst of darkness and danger, there is still much beauty to be found. Okay, so I had to put that one in.