I dreamt I was a mermaid. Expel from your mind images of the red-headed Ariel, and think instead of ancient marine art, beautiful women draped over monstrous rocks abused by the waves. In my dream I was gorgeous, an angelic Katy Perry with flowing midnight locks, a rose petal mouth, and flawless pale skin tinged with gold.
There was a small group of us, and we were all different. We did not live under water, but inside a magnificent house with large windows and sun drenched rooms. We would crawl, or teeter on the tips of our tails. Mine changed in the light: turquoise, green, blue, silver.
In one of the front chambers of the house, a room that forever pulsed with the immortal amber afternoon, I came across a fence. It was of simple design, rough wood, and only about 4 feet high. Behind it were men, and beyond them, rolling fields of impossible green. I was curious of these creatures, but my mermaid sisters were disinterested and they made to leave; they tugged at my fins and eventually I turned away, but I could not resist a look back. My illicit gaze found the brown eyes of a gentleman, and I suddenly became aware of an invisible thread of diamond between us, a physical connection. I felt my inner core being squeezed by a giant fist. Without a moment’s hesitation, I went to him. He was surprised, bashful, but for all my nakedness, I was not. I drew up to my full height.
“Are you a single man?” I asked. He had barely nodded when I shot a second question, “And are you tired?”
He smiled and frowned at the same time. It was a wonderful face full of thought, and warmth. “Well actually,” he said slowly, “yes.”
Now this was when something most peculiar happened. Somehow I knew, as one knows things in dreams, that he had misheard me. He thought I had said, “Are you trying?” and he had meant, “Yes I am trying”, in that he had had his heart prodded by a woman and seeked to woo her (this woman not being me). This all flashed across my mind in an instant, and I ignored it. My question about his vitality was important to me, as if I myself could aid him, and I clenched my teeth and distorted his understanding in my own mind. He was tired, and he needed me.
I stretched up so that I balanced on the very tip of my tail, and threw my arms around his neck, the fence between us forgotten. He was still talking as I nestled my face into his soft, soft skin, and I felt the tremor of his voice as I pressed my cheek to his throat. For a brief moment he was rigid, silent, but then he relaxed and melted into me. I held him tighter. I truly believed that the life in my own blood could seep through my skin into this man, that my soul could leak out a little and strengthen him.
My fins ached from standing tall, but I did not move. I wanted to hold him forever. I sensed him smile against my shoulder. We didn’t mind that everyone was looking. I gently clawed the nape of his neck, and lost my fingers inside his hair. Oh his hair! The memory of it has followed me about for three days. It was black and shiny like dipped olives, and smooth to the touch like wolfs down. I let the scent of him take me.
After an eternity I drew away and looked into his face. He was gorgeous, all smiles and chocolate eyes, innocent and alluring in equal measure. I knew he loved me. But in my strange mermaid’s heart, the surety of my own beauty dulled the pleasure of receiving his love, as if it were inevitable. Still, I leant forward, and very slowly – kissed him.