Friday, January 19, 2018

Goodbye My Dear Henry: Five Minute Stream of Consciousness

What struck me instantly were his gorgeous eyes. I am a complete and utter sucker for blue eyes, and I fell in love quick and hard. You know how girls sometimes do when a new boy shows up at school, mysterious and all.

He was the new kid in the place, and he had a way about him. He was light and funny and fluttery. His vivacious personality was hard to miss.

One thing we did not have in common is he liked peas and I do not.

He was my Henry, a pet name I gave him, and he came to the aquarium the same winter week I did. That was more than three years ago.

It wasn’t until I couldn’t find him in his usual spot to hand feed him his peas yesterday, I shouted over the microphone, "Has anyone seen my Henry?" that I learned he passed away last week. Poor boy. Was he a boy? I don't even know.

And though they promised another would replace him in the not too distant future, it will never be the same.


Most of them have green eyes…


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Thanks to my friend Kenya for letting me know that there is another opportunity for linking to a stream of consciousness writing community over at her place! This is probably my favorite way to write. Five minutes, quick and dirty! And on a Friday!!!

24 comments:

  1. You totally got me! I was waiting for the dreamboat boy from a teen romance, and then...oh, but he IS handsome.

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    1. Haha! My junior high crush was also named Henry. I work at the Aquarium and feed these guys their lunch. That puffer fish was my favorite. It is sad when these animals enter the pearly gates.

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  2. LOL you got me too and I'm on the monitor so I saw the picture along with the post. So how long do the Henry's of the world last? Wow to the green eyes! Happy to see you here! It's once a month with some other prompts in between so be on the lookout ;-) P.S. I don't like peas either. Hate is more like it.

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    1. I’m not sure how long in the wild, but pampered such as they are, his passing was surprising. They all go through a necropsy so we might find out why. Henry had blue eyes but more often they have green.

      I’m happy to have a push for writing! So thanks! I saw the other prompts and hope to join in.

      I was being kind. I freaking hate peas!!!!!

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  3. Aw, you got me too and totally thought Henry was a childhood crush of some sorts. But so sorry for the loss of Henry and I can understand that another will not replace Henry in your heart anytime soon.

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    1. There was a fondness for a different Henry when I was twelve!

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  4. Nicely done! I am grinning here, hugely, as my son is Henry and he volunteered for over a 100 hours at our Vancouver aquarium when he was younger.

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    1. That's awesome that he volunteered for so many hours there! Aquariums are so beautiful. I love the name Henry, too, hence my Henry!

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    1. Thanks so much! It was on my mind.

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  6. HA! Definitely got me as well and was waiting for the heartbreak story. Good job with the freewrite!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi! It's fun to write this way. I enjoy it!

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  7. I normally don't read comments before commenting*
    In any event, I did... so was there really a fish (and is that the actual Henry**) in the photo.
    And, finally did the fish die?
    lol
    the fun of SOC, non?


    *'cause nine times out of ten they make anything I'm inclined to write look like "Great Post. Really enjoyed it."
    ** which, at this point, I'm beginning to suspect might be a pseudonym

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    1. Well, thanks for commenting then! I work at Shedd Aquarium as a volunteer diver. My job is to feed the fish and do an underwater interactive presentation with the public. That is an actual picture of my Henry from the outside of the exhibit. I am almost always inside the exhibit. I named him Henry when he was a little puffer new to the tank and it caught on.

      Henry died last week before one of my days to dive. I always search him out to feed him peas as there are many, many larger fish in there that swipe all the food! He sucks them in, de-shells them, eats the inside of the pea and spits out the remainder. He usually hangs by a side window, so it's easy for the kids to watch him eat.

      But your are right, the fish don't have "official" names other than the ones we give them. For instance, one of the cow nose rays is named "No Tail" because she had hers eaten off by a Trigger fish in the exhibit. The green Moray Eel is named "Elmer" because when it comes out and is curious, it sticks to the diver like glue!

      Some of these animals get vitamins or special food, so we have to identify them in some way to keep track of what we are giving them.

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  8. Oh, what a lovely tribute to Henry. I hope he has safe travels to the next dimension, whatever that may be for turtles. And I hope he gets lots of peas. Just beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Mardra! Hard sometimes not to get attached.

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  9. a blue eyed puffer! wow! no wonder you fell so hard for him! zoe

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  10. Ah, He (she) was gorgeous. You're right. I love Shedd! I'll have to go there again and look for a Henry-looking fish.

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    1. Are you at Chicagoan or visit frequently? It’s a cool museum. Lots of fun stuff to see! It will probably be a year before Henry’s replacement makes its way to Shedd and through quarantine, but do look!

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  11. I thought Henry would be cuter...well, human. I guess he was kinda cute for a fish! What a cool volunteer gig to have, Gina - I just read your reply to the comment above mine. I love that you name the fish, too.

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    1. It’s so fun! I feel very fortunate for the opportunity because it’s not the easiest gig to get.

      Henry is like one of those dogs that’s so ugly it’s cute! What’s amazing is he can’t really swim, at least not good enough to swim away from its predators! But what they can do when stressed or defensive is blow up to the size of a soccer ball in a matter of a second. Plus he’s toxic. Hopefully other fish are aware he shouldn’t be their dinner!

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  12. I can see why you were attracted to Henry. What a diverse life you have!
    Being able to share these tales here is a bonus for all of us.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! There’s always stories to come home with like the time there was a stingray attached to my ring finger and she wouldn’t let go. Thought my finger was going to break. Or the time one of the huge Souhtern Stingrays, who was impatiently hungry, started sucking on my wetsuit so hard that she gave me a large hickey on my thigh. There’s more. I’ll stop!

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