--SOMEHOW WE ALL FEEL BROKEN
…Sometimes when I watch the news lately, it seems like the world is ending—Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Boko Harem in Africa, Ebola. People say, “Well don’t watch the news then.” But what good does it do being ignorant?
…Anyway, it’s Friday, and doesn’t everyone love the weekend? Especially a sunny weekend?
…Here’s a story I wrote a long time ago. It’s one of my sadder stories, yet a favorite:
You swim with the other orange fish, flapping, splashing in a manmade koi pond outside the Bank of America building just after noon on a hot Friday. I say, “Honey, how did you get here?”
You giggle and gurgle, such a slippery young thing.
“Come on,” I say, “what’re you doing?”
Around me people in business attire come and go in a hurry. Darrell saunters over, gives me a head tilt and asks if everything’s okay, his Security badge glinting furious from sun glare.
I bend down, and hear your rippled laughter, high pitched and juvenile. It’s been so long, since that day on the boat, when you were angry. You said you didn’t need swimming lessons. You said, “Mermaids are water-born!” And when I said I’d teach you how to swim as soon as the cruise was over, after we got back to the states, you threw a rare tantrum. I heard your mother’s voice say, “Just let her blow it off.” And though we were over by then, me and my ex-wife, I took her advice this once and didn’t chase after my little girl.
“So what’s up, partner?” Darrell asks, his thick thumbs hooked through belt loops.
He doesn’t see you because you’ve gone under, deep below the surface the way you must have after jumping overboard, hiding behind some slime-slickened boulder, blending in with the willowy seaweed or swimming to the far ends of the water the way mermaids do when they’re curious and bold.