Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Aquarium

"We must watch all the Sherlock now."

I let Hellion dictate what it is we will do at any given time. His ideas tend to be better than mine. The youthful prism through which he sees the world is engaging and I'm happy to be dragged along by home. Most of the time, because I want to be. Only occasionally kicking and screaming.

So it was that we were laying in bed sipping wine and watching movies and laughing and snuggling and embracing and being and living when the screen flickers into a scene that looks to be at the bottom of an ocean, an aquarium somewhere in London. All black with blue highlights on the walls, the underwater, the underground.

"I miss that. I miss the fishes."

"We can go to the aquarium tomorrow if you'd like?"

"Can we? Yes, let's do that."

Somehow we managed to get ourselves out of bed and moving eleven, packed into a car and headed downtown to see the fishes. The lake was beautiful that day, being beautiful, as usual, as is it's way. We pulled up to the Shedd just around lunch time, while it was only a small amount of busy. As we worked our way through the lines I checked out what seemed to me to be some ridiculous package prices until we finally got to the counter.

"Don't you have like a day pass for Chicago residents?"

"Do you live in the city?"

"I do."

"Do you have your driver's license?"

The fact that I haven't driven since 2002 is the constant bane of my existence sometime. The fact that I have no real interest in driving keeps me from doing these ID related things. I care not.

"I have a passport."

"Do you have something with an address on it?"

"Let me look."

"I can take anything."

"I have nothing. I have my phone bill, maybe, on my phone."

Phone: You have forgotten, mis-keyed, or in some other way fucked up either your ID or password, so under no circumstances will I allow you to log into this account for the next 24 hours. Try again and your account will be deleted.

"Uh, I have my home address on my Uber account?" Flashes the phone.

"That's, can you just tell me your address, I just need to type it in."

I give him my address and he dutifully types it in and gives us two five dollar tickets that get us into basically everything except the special exhibits (which you can pay five dollars a pop for if you REALLY need to have that experience). I smiled as I handed over ten dollars, while the tourists around us paid almost fifty a head for their entrance. Sometimes it pays to be persistent.

We wandered into the tanks, watching the variety of water life move back and forth and do their various things. From the underwater blue of the Caribbean tank, the the north wetlands, southern wetland, shores upon shores, riverways, waterways, lakeways, wet ways, down the corridors, around the bend to see otters and dolphins and take in the scents of salt and fresh water, moss and undergrowth, snapping turtles and crocodiles who starred back or starred not at all as we walked past.

Through the warm humid air of the South American room taunting the piranhas, past the sturgeon, and the fish petting zoo, and the spiders and the snakes, with the luminescent jelly fish floating carelessly and deadly in their cage. We ate lunch on the lake, we held hands, we kissed in front of clear and murky waters.

"Was this what you wanted?"

"It was perfect."


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