You run up and down the slick stone steps of the oceanarium as beluga whales slipstream and pirouette to oohs and ahhs behind you. You spin around and around the carousel of biomes – the rivers, the lakes, the wild reef, a kaleidoscope of eyes and fins and gills that’s too much and not enough. You flee from the roar of the hand drier in the bathroom despite your headphones, like the harlequin shrimp darting between sandbar shark teeth. You shove another kid a little too roughly because you want to see the stingray ballet and can’t quite form the words. You taste the saltwater tears on your lips when the cafe doesn’t have the right kind of crackers, and you’re a snapping turtle until you see the extra bag I have stowed in my purse. And then, at last, bathed in gentle lullaby blue, you slip into the penguin exhibit, where you are among other bodies warm and silent, and you swim laps with the flightless birds, and you feel the cool ice on your belly, and I watch you through the thick glass, waiting, until you are ready to return home.
Brett J Barr is an artist/tattooist, born in Easton Pennsylvania. He grew up in Daytona Beach, moved to Orlando FL in 1997 and now resides in Orlando, FL. Aside from tattooing at Built 4 Speed Tattoo in Orlando, Brett enjoys many different art forms such as graphite, charcoal, paint, pen and ink, mixed media/ graphic design, woodworking miniatures and studies classical guitar.
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