Saturday, 12 January 2008

Aqueous Humour

1. When you stop to think about it,
watching fish swim in a tank is a pretty stupid way to spend your time.
It's not like the fish will figure out how to use tools
or move into and actually defend the ornamental castle...
No matter how hard you stare at them, the fish will continue to swim
aimlessly back and forth
and forth and back again
all freaking day
looking just as clueless as they looked
when you started watching.

The most excitement you're going to get
from that particular pastime
is if you start taking bets on how long it will take
before all the plastic plants are uprooted by the inhabitants
or how many days the new charcoal filter
will continue to cloud up their otherwise pristine
fake environment.

I know for a fact that fish in tanks
are incredibly boring.

I know this from experience
because I watched them
for nearly an hour last night.

2. Fish eye lenses,
and I'm not talking cameras here,
are round little balls;
or at least the one in my Grade Ten biology lab was.
We weren't supposed to be dissecting the eye, but I was curious
and sliced open the sunken saucer when the teacher wasn't looking.
I wasn't expecting to find that plasticky-looking orb
hanging about in a dead perch
and was fascinated enough to sneak it into a paper towel to take it home.
I'd planned to show my mother, for some reason,
but thought better and threw it out a day later.
I sort of wonder now
if she might have been pleasantly surprised to learn that her
very neurotic daughter
had finally found something in life to
be squeamish about.

3. There is something about water dwellers
that calls to the water in us.
We are still water,
as far as we've tried to take ourselves away.

Sea water courses through our veins
and bathes our organs;
you may find us in deserts or on mountains
but without the oceans within we wouldn't even see the dry.

The water is us
as it is everything in this world,
and maybe that explains this need
for fish in tanks.

Maybe this world of artificial habitat
with its decorative rocks and carefully controlled tides
is just the water reminding us that it was,
in our history,


and as separate as we think we are
our cells will never forget
that for the largest part of our past
we were bathed in belonging.


An odd mood resulting in a bit of a prose poem. Nothing terribly earth shattering here. The title's a pretty awful pun (and for those who aren't familiar with the real term: aqueous humour), and the dissection story in the second section is, weirdly enough, true. It sort of marked the beginning of my interest in comparative anatomy.

One zoology degree later, I'm still interested in it.

Come to think of it, that lens was a fairly valuable discovery.

And yes, I was a pathetically squeamish child. Funny that I ended up in the business that I'm in now, really.

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