I always wanted to have the sex to a mermaid, but when I finally got the chance - some thirteen years after I first thought of it - I let it (her) slip through my stupid fingers. I was looking at her, all drippy and wet with her pale skin and long, long blonde eyelashes - which were blonde but with that kind of green aqua tint, just like her hair - she looked back at me. She lounged half naked and half iridescent scaly fish girl, it occurred to my stupid self that since she was a mermaid she would want to do it under the water and I can't really hold my breath all too well.
And she dove back in the water.
And, well, that is how I screwed up my chance to finally screw a mermaid.
For days and days after that I would just walk the streets pounding myself on the forehead because I was so stupid and as I walked and pounded I'd say things like, stupid, stupid! Why are you so stupid! And some people would look at me strangely but why do I care if they look at me like I'm stupid? I am stupid.
Finally I managed to repress my anger at my stupid self and I just kept it all in a little glass bottle inside of myself and sometimes I thought that if I went back to where I saw her, laying out in the sun next to a stairway into one of the flooded parts of the subway - maybe if I went back there and I took my little glass bottle full of all my anger and stupid-ness and threw it out into the dark subterranean water, maybe it would bob around on all the curling currents and maybe that mermaid with the green/blonde hair might find my little glass bottle and pull the cork out and read all my stupid self-anger as if it were a note that I'd written and then she'd see that I really did want to fuck her and she'd swim back to where I'd seen her and there I am waiting in the sun. With a snorkel.
I carry a snorkel with me always now. I figure that I waited like thirteen years for the chance to fuck a mermaid and if I get that chance again, I won't be just some person with legs who is stupid. This time I will be a person with a snorkel who is ready to have a good aquatic time.
So I keep this snorkel with me all the time and I've started hanging around the places where I know that the mermaids hang out, but I've yet to find that one again. The one that wanted me to fuck her. I've even developed a circuit so I can go to these mermaid hangouts a couple of times a day to see if my mermaid is sitting out in the sun. Eventually I made a map of where these places are. Really I just took a regular old map of the city and put a big red X at each of the places like subway entrances and manhole covers and buildings with big flooded basements and any of the other kinds of places that were underground and flooded where the mermaids might be hanging out. And I had such a good time making that map that I decided to make another one. Only this time I got an old subway map and I swam around in the subways themselves. At first I did this with just my snorkel but later on I stole a SCUBA tank. On my map - and then maps - of the subways I charted all the places where I saw mermaids and other mer-people. I marked on my map where they had their big fields of kelp that swayed in the water like corn in the breeze. I marked down where they built their little mer-people towns in the largest of the old subway junctions.
Over time I did see a bunch more mermaids that I would have liked to fuck but when I swam up to them in my all my SCUBA gear with my mask and my flippers, all of the mermaids looked at me like I was stupid, which was the same way that regular people looked at me when I walked the street in my dripping SCUBA gear and flippers.
Then, somehow, somebody from the City Public Works Department found out about my maps and they asked me if they could make copies of them and I said sure, just as long as they gave them back because it had been hard work and a lot of swimming to make them.
After that I got a plaque from the Mayor of the city for being so helpful to the Public Works Department and when I got the plaque some guy took my picture and I got in the paper and it was a big thing for a while about how I swam around in the subways. People didn't look at me quite so funny now when I rode the bus with my flippers. They even stopped me on the street and said, Hey, you're the mermaid map guy! And they even said that I was cool.
I started wearing my flippers everywhere after that. Even to the grocery store. And one time at the grocery store, I was in line at the counter behind this cute girl wearing a short little T-shirt that showed her pierced belly button and she had short hair and she said, Hey, you're that mermaid map guy!
And I did not deny this.
She said that she was a cartography major at the college and that she did a paper on me and my maps and I said, Yeah?
She said, Yeah.
When we left the grocery store she said that she had just broken up with her boyfriend because her boyfriend had caught her making out with another girl.
And I said, Oh yeah?
She said, Yeah and I said that was cool.
The she asked if I wanted to fuck her and I said Yeah and we went back to her place.
She grew her own pot so we smoked some and she took off her clothes and her nipples were pierced and I said, you're pretty kinky for a cartography major and she said, You ain't seen nothing yet and she took off all my clothes but told me to keep the flippers on.
After that first time that we had sex, she told me that her name was Bijou and me and Bijou then began to hang out a lot.
Since I had no social life to speak of but mapping the subways, we did a good deal of her things like going to places that played House and Jungle music and selling the Pot.
One time I got shot by a man who had said that he didn't have any money to buy the Pot. Funny though, that he could afford a gun. And also bullets.
After that we stopped selling the Pot and we took all the money from selling drugs and selling my subways maps to SCUBA diving tourists and we moved to the country and into a little, tiny house and she got a good job and I got a shitty job and we had a daughter with beautiful skin and the biggest blue eyes and as she got older and she asked about life in the city. I told her that I used to swim around the subways and make maps of the mermaid towns but she didn't believe me. So I showed her the flippers.
Then our daughter went off to college and it was just Bijou and me again in the little, tiny house and we started to grow the Pot again. This Pot was better than it had been in the city, I think because we used real country cow shit from a nearby dairy.
Anyway, there was a big rainstorm in the country and our little, tiny house blew down and so then we moved back to the city because Bijou and I had such fond memories of our youth - except for the memory of when I got shot.
So then, living in the city, I noticed that all the places that I'd had on my maps as mermaid places weren't mermaid places anymore. There were people going up and down and in and out of the subway stations.
This bothered me and I called the Public Works Department and I told them who I was and that I wanted to know what had happened to all of the mermaids and no one knew what I was talking about until they found this one old guy who still remembered me and he told me that the old Mayor - the very same mayor that had given me the plaque - had had the flooded subways drained out and had all the mermaid towns bulldozed and the whole thing was made back into a subway again.
I asked where all of the mermaids and mer-people had gone to but the old guy didn't know - I guess they went back to wherever they were before the subways flooded he said.
And I said, Great, now I will never get to fuck a mermaid!
And then the old guy said Huh?
And I said Oh nothing!
That night I laid down with Bijou I told her that I was never going to get to fuck a mermaid and she just poked me in the ribs and made fun of old me.
I went to sleep and I dreamed about that first mermaid from way back before - with her green/blonde hair and long, long eyelashes. In my dream she blew me a kiss before diving back into the water and disappearing. Somewhere deep inside of myself, way down and in the back and dusty, I found that glass bottle where I used to keep my stupid-ness and anger. Inside of it I put my sadness and I tossed the bottle out into the dark water after that mermaid and I wondered if she might ever find it.
Sometime later I awoke back into a world with no mermaids.