The Martini Effect – Chapter 11 (Drinking with Mementos and Mermaids)
“I’ve never been scuba diving,” Marylou says. “But I drank with a mermaid one time.”
“You drank with a mermaid one time?” I ask.
“Yes,” Marylou says with a mischievous grin.
“What was her name?” I ask.
“I never caught it,” Marylou tells me. “She was a slippery thing,” Marylou says and she laughs.
“Where did you drink with a mermaid?” I ask.
“At the Courtyard in Sunnyside. On a rainy Sunday.”
“What did you drink with a mermaid on a rainy day in Sunnyside?” I ask Marylou.
“I had the Dogfish Ale,” Marylou tells me. “The mermaid had the local brew.”
“What did you and the mermaid talk about over drinks?” I ask.
“She told me times were hard for semi-aquatic, ethereal beings. Hard to stay afloat. Ha. Afloat. The mermaid said that and then the mermaid laughed at herself. Because mermaids can be very droll. Most people don’t know that about mermaids. They have a killer sense of humor.”
“A very dry sense of humor,” I opine.
“Which is funny because they’re mermaids,” Marylou notes.
“Why are they so funny, you reckon?” I ask.
“Mostly because mermen take themselves so seriously,” Marylou explains. “Mermaids have to lighten the room. Take the pressure off.”
“Did you drink at the bar with the mermaid?” I ask.
“No,” Marylou tells me. “We drank out back in the courtyard. It was a covered courtyard, so we were dry from the rain. Not that a bit of rain would have bothered the mermaid. But I’m not a mermaid, so I preferred to stay dry.”
“There’s a whole universe in that courtyard,” Marylou tells me. “Like the genome of a neighborhood,” Marylou whispers.
“Like an elephant graveyard for knickknacks,” Marylou says.
“After a few more drinks, the mermaid finally admits to me that she she’s scared,” Marylou confesses.
“What is the mermaid scared of?” I ask Marylou.
“The mermaid is scared that she’ll just become another of these knickknacks,” Marylou says. “She’s scared that she’s just another trinket people look at curiously. People look at the mermaid and then forget all about her a few drinks later. That’s what the mermaid is scared of.”
“What did you say to the mermaid after she told you that?” I ask Marylou.
“I told her that was the beauty of being a mermaid. She could just swim away from here.”
“Did that make the mermaid feel better?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” Marylou says. “It’s hard to get a read on a mermaid sometimes. They’re so droll.”
“But the mermaid kept smiling as we drank,” Marylou says after a moment. “And I told her she would always be more than just another knickknack to me. And she smiled some more. And then she bought the next round. So that was something. Because mermaids rarely get the next round.”
“But they’re very funny?”
“You’d be surprised how funny mermaids can be.”
(Tune in tomorrow for the next installment…)