She was rather the well-turned out mermaid and heads turned as she swam by. By no stretch of her long beautiful flowing golden hair did she think that she was any better than any of the others in the Sea of Humanity. She was merely an observer and would sit by her rock and set her gaze far and wide.
She was peculiar in a way in that she did not live in the past or the future and she liked it that way. The daily happenings around her would rise to the surface and come marching by on their way to somewhere else. And these happenings would often include her in their dramas if she chose to join. These happenings included people from many diverse backgrounds, rich, poor, pretty, short, tall, gambling ladies and onlookers like herself to name a few.
One day she happened to go on an errand, our Mermaid did, and she swam over to the Dollar General Store somewhere near her rock. Swimming for three miles is not unheard of in Oakland Park, Florida during the rainy season and is completely safe for mermaids. It was after work and she wanted to get some things like a calling card and some more water. Mermaids drink lots of water.
Before Mermaid walked inside, she noticed a man in the parking lot who it appeared noticed her. He was young and handsome and alerted to her beauty. Mermaids almost all the time are rather fetching. He stared at her and then went into the store following close to her.
She got her phone card and bottles of water and walked smartly over to the check out counter where she placed the water because it was heavy. It was there she heard someone say, “one beautiful mermaid.” She turned her head to the right and no one was there…she turned her head to the left and the young man was a few feet away.
She said, “What?”
The young man walked up behind her and then stood next to her and said boldly, “You are a beautiful mermaid.”
She was shocked and stood there like a statue, but managed to say quietly, “Thank you.”
When he turned to leave, she paid for everything and walked out.
She had seen many things, being an observer of life, but she had never had such an experience like the one that had just happened. And it seemed to take hold of her mermaid spirit and turned her around into something more. What exactly, she could not be certain.
She swam home and decided to nap. It usually takes a long time for mermaids to lie down. Soon, thoughts came swirling around her pretty mermaid head. This young man was so polite and handsome and had effectively turned her mermaid self into something - wonderful. She knew then she had to speak to him again. She remembered what he looked like and she remembered the beautiful colored shirt he wore. It was turquoise, the color of the sea, her beautiful, beloved sea that she adored so much and spent so much time in.
It wasn’t that the man wanted something from her. And it was not a line to start a conversation so they could go out on a date. Although they were lovely words, it was his intention behind them the mermaid felt. The purity of his words went like a missile, directly to her mermaid heart. And she knew all of this because being a mermaid, she didn’t exactly have a perfect shape. Her shape was round in places and scaly in others and while she had drop dead gorgeous hair that shone in the sunlight like spun gold, she knew his words had nothing to do with her looks. She knew he looked beyond all that. She was after all a princess of mythic proportions and very much an old spirit.
And so the arrow, aimed at her heart, lodged there for days and weeks and months. So long it was with her, she decided to do something about it. She decided to go back to the store at the exact time of day and the same day of the week in hopes that he would be there. But alas, he was not there.
A few days later, she decided to place a note on a website in search of him. And what started as a genuine interest in telling the young man a genuine thank you and how much his words meant, ended up being a record number of emails from other men in search of the perfect mermaid. Many were kind and thoughtful… and hopeful….saying things like “I wish I had been him, I’d say more than that.” Others wanted other things…like, “I lost my keys in the ocean, could you go out there and retrieve them?”
But Mermaid didn’t mind that. She found it all amusing. Amused though she was, she also kept up her search. She had heard of a princess and a glass slipper, but this was different. She was a mermaid and she was looking for the man with the golden words.
She didn’t want to marry him. She didn’t want to date him. She didn’t want anything more than to say how sorry she was that she didn’t turn in his direction and give him a proper thank you. She wanted to extend herself more than one millimeter. That....and maybe she did want to hear the words that felt like a warm embrace just one more time.
Eventually he showed up. It wasn’t the same day of the week or the same time. And she didn’t go there expecting to see him again because she usually never has expectations. But on this particular day, he was there. And here is where the plot does a trick. He handed her a note. In his note were all the emails he had sent her using different names and email addresses. It could happen. And because she turned down the men who emailed her and asked her out, or wanted a relationship with benefits…………….
……………just how THAT would happen will have to be in another story…...
…..or who wanted to see her or call her…Because she turned them all down, because she wanted only to see him once more…he told her he wanted her all to himself and would she come to his glass bottom boat where he lived near the Intracoastal Waterway in Hollywood, Florida where he would support her forever. FOREVER.
Today, if you pass by their big glass bottom boat, you will see the two, the mermaid and her young man….sailing in the early morning. And if you run and get your binoculars, you might just see a great big splash. A REALLY BIG SPLASH.
Meanwhile, back at the Dollar General, things are the same. Of the people who were hopefuls but didn’t have the courage to write or send her an email, some still hang around the parking lot on Fridays, praying like they were driving to New Jersey that Mermaid might just come swimming by.
For now, Mermaid and her young man are settled in their lazy boys on board the “Maiden Voyage” and when they start up the engines and sail out the inlet, Mermaid gets her early morning swim in and she laughs and she sings and she’s happy as is the man in the turquoise shirt with black hair. And now the young man and Mermaid are living happily ever after.