The Objectified Mermaid
By Matthea Harvey
The photographer has been treating her like a spork all morning. "Wistful mouth, excited tail! Work it, work it!" He has no idea that even fake smiling spreads to her eyes and her tail and there's nothing she can do about it short of severing her spine. Without asking, the assistant re-sprays her with glycerine. It's gonna be hell getting all that grease off her scales tonight but she can't scum up her tank at the bar--its weekly cleanings seem more like monthly these days, and fewer and fewer patrons have been inviting (read: paying) her for a Tankside Mertini and quick feel of her tail. There's one regular who lapses in and out of consciousness and he's the real reason she stays. Every once in a while he seems to have forgotten where he is and he looks at her with the kind of wonder she imagines her grandmother inspired when she first risked coming ashore. After an hour under the studio spotlights, she's starting to smell pretty fishy. Can't blame it (as she has before) on her standard seaweed bra because this fool of a photographer has her holding two clear fishbowls in front of her breasts so it looks like goldfish are swimming past her nipples. She's supposed to pretend it tickles. She wants to ask if he's heard the phrase "gilding the lily" which she recently learned at Land Berlitz. When asked if she's tired, she lies. A downward spiral means the opposite up here.
As predicted we had rain pretty much every moment of Friday, quite hard at times. The squirrels and chipmunks took cover on the new deck until the cats discovered them and batted the windows. I wrote a review of Deep Space Nine's "Hard Time" and drove to the high school to help Adam get all his art projects for the year home, since he couldn't have biked with them even on a sunny day and all students are required to clear out their lockers, drawers, etc. since finals start on Monday. Maddy joined us for dinner with my parents (Chinese food).
Then we came home, watched a couple of episodes of Arrested Development, and watched the news and Orioles wrap-up waiting for Russell Crowe on The Tonight Show (everyone seems to have the clip where Jor-El and Zod break up, which just puts such a big smile on my face -- and I haven't even seen the Fortress of Solitude stuff beyond the two seconds in the trailers). The entomologist who followed Russell, from the University of Maryland, is someone we've met at Maryland Day! Here is a goose family from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden whose father hissed away a snapping turtle: