At night, the blue whale swims. His tail flicks the air and he floats like a balloon. Graceless, bumping, he makes his way through the gallery. Squeezes between pillars. Nudges through doorways. Pops explosively through a half-open skylight. Out, finally, he heaves a deep breath of rain-wet air. Freedom. Where to tonight?
He floats from bar to bar. He always gets a lot of attention. People want to stroke his flank. Want to see him jet water into the air like a fountain. Want to pose with him for a picture. A few beers down and he’s all too happy to oblige. New friends, he thinks… except none of them linger. They make excuses. Nobody wants to dance. Nobody wants to go swimming. When he suggests a trip to the beach everyone suddenly takes an interest in their phones.
Late at night, he wobbles homewards. The tube is empty, and he takes an entire carriage for himself. Gets stuck in the barriers. As he wanders the last few steps back towards the museum he pauses for a moment. Scents the air. His head is spinning and he needs to lie down. Very faintly, he’s sure, he can just about smell the ocean.