I am reaching. Sticking my hand out into the unknown, hoping it returns to me with a fist full of gold, but eager to avoid the potential of an aggressive piranha or a re-emergent meat-eating dinosaur.
Right now, I’m reaching into the warm water of the ‘Touch Tank,’ a petting zoo, of sorts, for my underwater friends. Allowing my pointer and middle fingers to tickle the underbelly of the orange starfish with six legs. Its rugged, sandpaper back is scrunched in the corner, playing hard to get.
I’m reaching out to connect with the inhabitants of the exhibit, while Michael and Brian are reaching out to connect with the inhabitants of the aquarium itself. I’ve heard our codeword “Slurpie” used no less than sixty times thus far in the evening in order to point out yet another hot guy. Michael is talking to an Antonio Banderas type we both know is there with his girlfriend, while Brian is making eyes at a blondie in a blue tie standing near the giant carp.
I, of course, am drawn to the starfish. The likelihood of being rejected by something completely encased in Plexiglas yields far better results for me.
“Why does this one have six legs?” I ask the overseeing volunteer in her navy blue polo. It says ‘Madge’ on the pin attached to her lapel, and I wonder if anyone has made a joke about her ‘Madge Badge’ to her face.
“If something happens where one of the legs becomes detached, the sea star may grow another and a spare,” Madge informs me. I consider this as I stroke the six-pointed starfish. I could think of some parts I’d like to have a spare of.