She never cared for mermaids the way her roommate did, who believed beyond belief that his grandfather had been seduced by one in Italy. Even after unearthing the family photos in Maryland, bringing them back to Nashville, narrating them to anyone he could get to sit on their couch—where, without fail, the guys and gals all gasped at how breathtakingly beautiful was his grandmother Rosie, envied the apparent devotion with which her husband eyed her. And still there was Matt just sure his granddad had snuggled up with a she-fish who couldn’t even spread her legs for him if she’d wanted to.
At lunch last week, just down the street, her boyfriend told her his mother’s bedtime tale about mermaids, where the seafaring whore gets her head chopped off in the end. She thought “that’s a little too gruesome for childhood,” but not as bad as the one that scared her worst, where a black scratchy animal gets his tail chopped off and eaten—and he moans and he howls and he asks for it back. But what’s given is gone and what’s taken we lack. When Zach was done flattering the waitress, she ordered tuna.
The Wet Collection