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Personal Essay: A Mermaid's Tale
Words by Melissa Ramos
Image by Christine Stoddard
My hair swirls around me as soft as angel’s wings, twirling like leaves on a breezy day. Moving my limbs, I move, ever so slowly. The ocean’s tides push and pull. It pulls me down into its inky depths and pushes as I swim, letting the water churn around me. I exist as a fish, a mermaid. No thoughts, no worries. Just myself. A simple being gliding through the waves. The sunlight bends and breaks as it hits the water, sending ripples of color dancing. The liquid trickles in my ears, causing a sound not unlike that of the voice of a seashell. The ocean speaks to me. It’s a gentle hum like the soft calls of seagulls at daybreak. My body rises to the surface, my face breaks free, and my lungs gulp in the salty sea air. I am free.
I let the gentle ebb and flow push me back to the shore. When my feet touch the sand, I walk slowly out of the water, keeping my face turned away from the sun. I look for shells as I move towards my family sitting in their beach chairs. Mom with her book, Dad people watching, and Sister playing in the sand. I sit next to Dad and he pulls a container of strawberries out from the ice chest. We munch on the sweetest red strawberries, fingers sticky, knowing our stomachs will hurt later. The day goes by slowly. The sun lingers in the sky, blistering our pale skin red as fire.
Many hours later, we pack up the car, and discover the sand that didn’t bother us before now sticks to everything and is caught in unexpected places. Oldies music blares with the windows down, airing out the steamy car. Heading back to the highway, our timing always just right, we hit the Krispy Kreme doughnut store with the Hot Now sign lit up. What better way to spend the next hour then devouring fresh doughnuts that literally melt in your mouth?
Dusk sets in and after we are all showered and lathered in aloe, Dad will cook something on the grill. Burgers, steaks, chicken, something hearty and wholesome with a side of fries or salad. Maybe both. Exhaustion quickly sets in after dinner. The beds sway in phantom-style with the slow motion of the tides as if our bodies are still submerged in the cool ocean water.
These are the days of my childhood. My happiest of memories.
Now as an adult, I am stuck at work, a mermaid stranded on land. The sun shines around a few fluffy clouds sprinkled across the baby blue sky. A perfect beach day. I long for those childhood moments where life was simple and we spent quiet days with our books, our strawberries, and our feet buried in the warm sand.
Whenever I need a break, fresh air, or the calm of the water, I take myself to the beach. I try to replicate those early memories, letting peace sink into my soul, a mermaid returning home to the salty sea.
8/6/2018 12:22:51 pm
Absolutely so surreal! Love it!
Joyce L Shealy
8/7/2018 09:24:27 pm
I love it!
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