Dreaming under the sea

So my Weeki Wachee post described, I think, our day at the park sufficiently. But the magic of the mermaids is something else entirely.

I had several recurring dreams as a child and one of the less disturbing (though still weird) dreams involved a mermaid. No, I take that back – it was plain disturbing.

There was a fish shop that I used to go to with my mother when I was little and she was running errands. (This shop may have been purely an invention of my dream - I’ll have to check with her on this.) We’d stop by this fish shop, I believe just north of the US41 bridge over the Peace River (a pretty specific detail, but I still think this may have all been part of the dream world). The floor was white terrazzo, the air conditioning ran cold but humid, and there was, of course, the aroma of fish in the air. A bell rang and hit the storefront door as it opened and closed. I did not like eating fish until very recently, so the odor was unpleasant to me. I’d bide my time while my mother picked out her selections for dinners I would not eat. This was all normal, repetitive, everyday stuff. And then one day I peered into the freezer closest to the door, across from the register, to see the whole fish laid out on the crushed ice. I didn’t like eating the creatures but found them fun to look at. Dead on the ice. Thinking back on that, it seems a bit morbid, but I love fishing now and that’s what you do to them – lay them out on the ice….

One day something was different. Gray scales with green edges, hints of oranges, light glinting off the skins – yes, that was right. And lying horizontally along with all the other future-meals was a little mermaid. About two feet long. With full-grown human/mermaid proportions, scaled down to a length of about 24 inches. Her tail was green, the scales had gray edges. A sick dread set in my stomach and I turned around and found my mother thankfully ready to leave. I hurried out ahead of her.

I had this dream I don’t know how many times. Why is it that the weird, rock-in-the-stomach-forming dreams are the ones that always come back? Not the airy, happy, sparkly ones? Another of my recurring dreams came partially true one night – woke the whole house up with that one…but that’s a story for another day.

So…my early-on brushes with mermaids were a little…off, shall we say? But thankfully that did not prejudice me against the mythical beauty that normally surrounds these creatures.

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