5/9/12: W2L- Alone in an Aquarium

Wednesday, May 9, 2012: W2L – Alone in the Aquarium

The Ocean Voyager exhibit tunnel. This image i...

The Ocean Voyager exhibit tunnel. This image is a panorama of 3 stitched photos to give a greater angle of view. Taken by myself on January 23rd with a Canon 5D and 17-40mm f/4L. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend suggested this prompt to my teacher, and she liked it enough to have us all use it: 
What if you had a whole day in the aquarium all by yourself?     

I walked through the entrance path to the aquarium briskly, for once the stunning harbor view held no appeal for me. I was on my first solo assignment for my newspaper. I was hoping for an interview with the new aquarium director that would blow all others out of the water. (haha, pun totally unintended) I searched through my bag for my access pass only to discover that there was no security guard. I walked further in, hoping to find someone who could help me. I see the revolving door, looking lonely as it stood revolving as if by magic.

Circling. Circling.

My new heels echoed loudly on the stone floor. Vaguely I realise that there’s something wrong with that. Then I realise that it’s far too quiet.

I am the only one here.

I walk further into the building, idly watching the fish in their giant tanks swim in ever evolving cycles.

Circling. Circling.

As sunlight is distorted through the tank water and the glass encasing it, I search out the door to the staff offices. I feel as though I am walking in circles. My feet are now hurting and I have the distinct feeling that the creatures are watching me, the fish eyes following me, the eels with their mouths open focused on me, the larger aquatic mammals circling and circling.

I make it to the door. I’m sure I look like a madwoman, paranoid and twitchy. I look around for the nice sounding secretary I talked to on the phone, just… a few hours ago? Only a few hours ago. There is no one here. I am alone.

Alone with the lifesize mechanical model of an underwater ecosystem. This was my inside scoop- The new director had worked so extensively with aquatic life that he was able to create, to mathematical perfection, a perfect working underwater ecosystem. It was suspended not unlike trains are on model train tracks in toy stores, or novelty stores during Christmas season. On one side I could see, behind a large magnifying glass, plankton, seeming floating carelessly in the air. This is where the cycle started, and along its path were desks, seemingly symbolizing where each staff member stood on the corporate food chain. As I followed the revolving circles of life, I found myself at the director’s desk, where the king of the food chain resides.

And the Great White was just circling, circling.


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