Archeopteryx Girl

The Archeopteryx girl was fat around the middle

her skirt was very short and her socks were much too long.

She had teeth inside her beak and her legs were thin and scaly

and she carried her umbrella like a samurai sword.

archaegirl

98.9 Benign

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a fibrocystic mass, which means that it’s almost certainly not cancer.

As in “I am ninety-eight…point nine…percent sure it’s not cancer. This mammogram is to cover my ass. Also so you don’t lie awake at night going “Oh god, what if she’s wrong?” (I love that my doctor will admit these things.)

It’s also so that they have a record of the size, because this sucker is BIG. The whole “grape” thing was overly optimistic. It is, in fact, the size of a golf-ball, which I have an easier time imagining as the equivalent of a large mouse curled up inside my right breast. (I don’t play golf. Mice, I know.)

Assuming it does not get ridiculously bigger and isn’t painful, no treatment is required. If it gets much bigger and/or painful, it would require surgery–this is a fibrous mass, not something one drains. “I mean, if you’re up two cup sizes on that side, then yeah, we can take it out. But if it doesn’t hurt, don’t worry about it.”

Perhaps most relief-inducing, the mammogram is for “Eh, whenever. Next few weeks? Get it out of the way. Whenever’s convenient.”

I almost didn’t GET that far, mind you, because I tried to explain about the boob-clams and that led me to lawn-crayfish and at that point she closed my chart, stared at me, and attempted to disbelieve.

I assured her that lawn-crayfish were a real thing. She left the room and I heard her through the door demanding to know if the nurses knew about lawn-crayfish.

I stuck my head out the door. “They won’t! Nobody does!”

She waved me back in. “I’m doing a scientific survey! Go put on the little paper gown!”

I put on the paper gown and pulled up pictures of lawn-crayfish. Then I had to show said pictures to a group of nurses who came into the room to demand to know what the hell was going on.

“Well, I believe you,” the doctor said. “But for a minute there I was afraid it was cancer and it had metastasized into your brain and now you were seeing lawn crayfish.”

“This is completely understandable.”

When she finished filling out the various forms, it occurred to me to ask if it would go away.

“It…might…” she said, in a tone indicating that it probably wouldn’t. “More likely it’ll shrink down to marble size and then get inflamed occasionally and swell up. Stress. Caffeine. You now have a mood-boob with your very own mood-nodule.”

“And I shouldn’t lie awake weeping and eating potato chips?”

“No. Also don’t call your family tearfully to say “We have to get together…sob…one…last…time…” You’ll be fine.”

I’ll take it.

 

98.9 Benign

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a fibrocystic mass, which means that it’s almost certainly not cancer.

As in “I am ninety-eight…point nine…percent sure it’s not cancer. This mammogram is to cover my ass. Also so you don’t lie awake at night going “Oh god, what if she’s wrong?” (I love that my doctor will admit these things.)

It’s also so that they have a record of the size, because this sucker is BIG. The whole “grape” thing was overly optimistic. It is, in fact, the size of a golf-ball, which I have an easier time imagining as the equivalent of a large mouse curled up inside my right breast. (I don’t play golf. Mice, I know.)

Assuming it does not get ridiculously bigger and isn’t painful, no treatment is required. If it gets much bigger and/or painful, it would require surgery–this is a fibrous mass, not something one drains. “I mean, if you’re up two cup sizes on that side, then yeah, we can take it out. But if it doesn’t hurt, don’t worry about it.”

Perhaps most relief-inducing, the mammogram is for “Eh, whenever. Next few weeks? Get it out of the way. Whenever’s convenient.”

I almost didn’t GET that far, mind you, because I tried to explain about the boob-clams and that led me to lawn-crayfish and at that point she closed my chart, stared at me, and attempted to disbelieve.

I assured her that lawn-crayfish were a real thing. She left the room and I heard her through the door demanding to know if the nurses knew about lawn-crayfish.

I stuck my head out the door. “They won’t! Nobody does!”

She waved me back in. “I’m doing a scientific survey! Go put on the little paper gown!”

I put on the paper gown and pulled up pictures of lawn-crayfish. Then I had to show said pictures to a group of nurses who came into the room to demand to know what the hell was going on.

“Well, I believe you,” the doctor said. “But for a minute there I was afraid it was cancer and it had metastasized into your brain and now you were seeing lawn crayfish.”

“This is completely understandable.”

When she finished filling out the various forms, it occurred to me to ask if it would go away.

“It…might…” she said, in a tone indicating that it probably wouldn’t. “More likely it’ll shrink down to marble size and then get inflamed occasionally and swell up. Stress. Caffeine. You now have a mood-boob with your very own mood-nodule.”

“And I shouldn’t lie awake weeping and eating potato chips?”

“No. Also don’t call your family tearfully to say “We have to get together…sob…one…last…time…” You’ll be fine.”

I’ll take it.

Lump

So a few days ago, I was putting on a bra and my right breast didn’t handle right.

This is probably hard to explain to anybody who doesn’t have at least somewhat significant breasts, but it was dense in a spot it shouldn’t be dense.

I stopped.

Everything stopped. The whole world stopped. If I had looked out the window at that moment, the wood storks on the golf course across the way would have been frozen with their wings outstretched.

I poked around and there was something in there, about the size of a grape, that was its own thing.

You’d think a breast lump that size would be pretty easy to find, and you’d be wrong. I’m a triple-D, it’s sort of deep in there. Boobs are weird. Imagine trying to locate a grape inside a jello mold, only the jello mold is completely opaque and you can’t break the surface tension and there’s a thing of sliced carrots running down the middle that are throwing the texture off a bit.

Nevertheless, after a few tries I managed to find the damn thing and there it was. My right breast was Rome, and now it had its own Vatican City.

It is almost certainly a cyst.

It looks like a cyst, it quacks like a cyst, it is somewhat squashy and round, not hard like a piece of gravel. The odds of it not being benign are down in the fractions of percentages. My mother gets these all the time. I have genetic predisposition toward them, I am in the correct age range, and they are often a hormone response, and hey, I just started dumping a pile of thyroid hormones into my body. (And hell, if I had a malignant tumor the size of a mouse head, I can’t imagine my recent bloodwork would have been so spot-on healthy.)

I assured myself of all this. I nodded. I did not even have the brief terror fantasy about my lingering death and wondering what they’d say at my funeral. I believe that it is a cyst.

Then I went into the bathroom and cried for five minutes, because holy shit, there’s a lump.

(It was okay to freak out over the one little thing in my armpit because I was pretty sure it probably wasn’t. It’s not okay to freak out about this because it might actually be. Does that make any sense?)

I do not know if I can explain what “I found a lump” is like for women in a certain age range. It is usually uttered quietly, with an attempt at matter-of-factness, it is usually followed with “it’s probably nothing” and it will stop conversation dead in its tracks. If you have good friends, they say “Tell me when you need me to drive you anywhere, I will come hold your hand, tell me what you need.” If you have bad friends…well, to hell with ’em.

A lump is pretty much the trump card to anything that is not currently bleeding or on fire.
If Ripley had found a breast lump, she could have yelled to the Alien to give her five minutes, and it would have said “Oh, jeez, sorry, I’ll come back. Can I get you anything?”

It is terrifying to suddenly be alone in your body. No matter how many people love you, you are alone. You are stuck. You are in there with the thing and it’s snugged right up there and nobody else can come inside with you and hold your hand.

So, after a long and sleepless night (and making Kevin feel it and confirm that yep, there is a thing there) I called my doctor. They would have had me in same day, but I’m at Disneyworld. (Kevin offered to cut it short and drive me back, but it’s a cyst, it is surely a cyst, and if it’s not a cyst, three days isn’t going to matter one way or the other.)

My mother called and reassured me that was what cysts feel like, she’s had a million of them, and no, she didn’t stop freaking out when she found one until she’d had at least a dozen. So that made me feel better.

(And then I lost the bloody thing, which is worse, because I could just see myself going to the doctor and saying “I had this cyst and now I can’t find it,” and having her give me that look and say “Well, where was the last place you left it?” because my doctor has been putting up with my crap for years now. But I found it again. Having large boobs is just awesome. Really.)

So, Monday I go in to get a second opinion. I assume this will end with a mammogram, which I’m not particularly looking forward to and there better be an emergency release on the machine because if the building catches fire that is some Serpent and the Rainbow shit right there. It’s not painful, they shouldn’t have to drain it any time soon, which is the fate of some cysts.

And I am able to forget about it for hours at a stretch.

And I’m still kinda horribly freaked out and will probably not be cool with it until the doctor says “benign.”

Lump

So a few days ago, I was putting on a bra and my right breast didn’t handle right.

This is probably hard to explain to anybody who doesn’t have at least somewhat significant breasts, but it was dense in a spot it shouldn’t be dense.

I stopped.

Everything stopped. The whole world stopped. If I had looked out the window at that moment, the wood storks on the golf course across the way would have been frozen with their wings outstretched.

I poked around and there was something in there, about the size of a grape, that was its own thing.

You’d think a breast lump that size would be pretty easy to find, and you’d be wrong. I’m a triple-D, it’s sort of deep in there. Boobs are weird. Imagine trying to locate a grape inside a jello mold, only the jello mold is completely opaque and you can’t break the surface tension and there’s a thing of sliced carrots running down the middle that are throwing the texture off a bit.

Nevertheless, after a few tries I managed to find the damn thing and there it was. My right breast was Rome, and now it had its own Vatican City.

It is almost certainly a cyst.

It looks like a cyst, it quacks like a cyst, it is somewhat squashy and round, not hard like a piece of gravel. The odds of it not being benign are down in the fractions of percentages. My mother gets these all the time. I have genetic predisposition toward them, I am in the correct age range, and they are often a hormone response, and hey, I just started dumping a pile of thyroid hormones into my body. (And hell, if I had a malignant tumor the size of a mouse head, I can’t imagine my recent bloodwork would have been so spot-on healthy.)

I assured myself of all this. I nodded. I did not even have the brief terror fantasy about my lingering death and wondering what they’d say at my funeral. I believe that it is a cyst.

Then I went into the bathroom and cried for five minutes, because holy shit, there’s a lump.

(It was okay to freak out over the one little thing in my armpit because I was pretty sure it probably wasn’t. It’s not okay to freak out about this because it might actually be. Does that make any sense?)

I do not know if I can explain what “I found a lump” is like for women in a certain age range. It is usually uttered quietly, with an attempt at matter-of-factness, it is usually followed with “it’s probably nothing” and it will stop conversation dead in its tracks. If you have good friends, they say “Tell me when you need me to drive you anywhere, I will come hold your hand, tell me what you need.” If you have bad friends…well, to hell with ‘em.

A lump is pretty much the trump card to anything that is not currently bleeding or on fire.
If Ripley had found a breast lump, she could have yelled to the Alien to give her five minutes, and it would have said “Oh, jeez, sorry, I’ll come back. Can I get you anything?”

It is terrifying to suddenly be alone in your body. No matter how many people love you, you are alone. You are stuck. You are in there with the thing and it’s snugged right up there and nobody else can come inside with you and hold your hand.

So, after a long and sleepless night (and making Kevin feel it and confirm that yep, there is a thing there) I called my doctor. They would have had me in same day, but I’m at Disneyworld. (Kevin offered to cut it short and drive me back, but it’s a cyst, it is surely a cyst, and if it’s not a cyst, three days isn’t going to matter one way or the other.)

My mother called and reassured me that was what cysts feel like, she’s had a million of them, and no, she didn’t stop freaking out when she found one until she’d had at least a dozen. So that made me feel better.

(And then I lost the bloody thing, which is worse, because I could just see myself going to the doctor and saying “I had this cyst and now I can’t find it,” and having her give me that look and say “Well, where was the last place you left it?” because my doctor has been putting up with my crap for years now. But I found it again. Having large boobs is just awesome. Really.)

So, Monday I go in to get a second opinion. I assume this will end with a mammogram, which I’m not particularly looking forward to and there better be an emergency release on the machine because if the building catches fire that is some Serpent and the Rainbow shit right there. It’s not painful, they shouldn’t have to drain it any time soon, which is the fate of some cysts.

And I am able to forget about it for hours at a stretch.

And I’m still kinda horribly freaked out and will probably not be cool with it until the doctor says “benign.”

The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight

Because A) Nine Goblins has sold over 500 copies the first week, and that’s pretty awesome, and B) I am where I am, and y’know how it is, here’s a little something by way of amusement.

            The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight

            I didn’t take her voice for myself. I want to set the record straight on that, right up front. People got a lot of crazy notions in their heads, the way the story got around, and that was one of them.

            I’m not saying I never did an evil deed—anyone who says they haven’t is lying through their teeth—but I didn’t take her voice for myself. I didn’t need it. I’ve got a perfectly fine voice, thank you, trained by whale divas, and it’s mine.

            Seriously, you start stealing people’s voices and using them yourself and pretty soon you don’t know which voice is yours and which one’s an echo and then you’re mad and howling and people are standing around in caves during low tide asking where the screaming’s coming from and someone else is saying “Oh, it’s just some trick of the acoustics.”

            Go ahead, laugh. That trick of the acoustics is my Great-Aunt Meryl and you don’t want to wait for high tide. I’ve seen her tear the head off an elephant seal. With her nails.

            Best not to start down that channel at all, really.

            No, I took her voice for two simple reasons—she was a twit and she was in love.  I took one look at her and knew that she’d spill everything she knew in the pretty human boy’s ear, and then where would we be?

            It doesn’t go so well when humans know about us, have you noticed? Ask one selkie if she’s feeling happier now that she spent a decade on shore with some jerk who stole her hide off the rocks. (Sure, some of them think it’ll be romantic—bull selkies aren’t anybody’s notion of charming, though they do have a certain over-muscled appeal—but it’s not so romantic when you’re spending your youth cooking and cleaning for an illiterate fisherman and bearing his brats through a pelvis that isn’t nearly so accommodating as it used to be.)

            I’d say “ask a Stellar’s sea cow” but you can’t, because they’re all dead. And just try to find a sea mink. I was very fond of sea mink. They were inquisitive little devils and they made chirpy noises when you stroked them. I haven’t forgiven humans for the sea mink. Or the sea cows, for that matter.

            Do not get me started on the great auk.

            Anyway, I’m pretty sure that the minute somebody in a position of authority—like, oh, I don’t know, a prince—figures out that there’s a whole underwater civilization, we’re in the deep muck. It might start out civilized at first, but it won’t stay that way. Somebody’s bound to figure out that there’s a lot of very useful things in the ocean.

            Rare things. Hidden things. Things of power.

            You want to hide something from the prying hands of mortals, you drop it in the sea. It’s been going on for years. I’ve got things in my pantry that could unmake continents if you could find them and get them into the right hands. Or wrong hands, as the case may be.

            And it doesn’t even have to be the magic rings and the enchanted swords and the world-breakers and the leftover ansible.  Let the humans start mucking about with our people on a purely practical level and it still won’t end well.

            Hell, they could keep sirens in cages on whaling ships to call the whales in–fish-speakers to drive the king-of-herring’s subjects into the nets–and you don’t even want to know what they’ll do for mineral rights. Gold’s the least of it. There’s a place down around the edge of the cape where you can find diamonds the size of an eel’s skull. Pray the humans never find out about it.

            Plus, of course, there’s our women. No, not me. I’m not saying I’m not attractive, but at my age, I’m more interested in a good meal and a good nap. You find me a man who wants both those things, maybe with a conversation about the finer points of mantis shrimp breeding thrown in, then we’ll talk.

            But you have two cultures breaking against each other, it’s the young women who are going to come out the losers. Any two cultures. Pick two. The tide goes in, the tide goes out. Somethings don’t change.

            I’ve got nieces, you know.

            So yes, I did take the little fool’s voice. Her prince wasn’t going to find about us on my watch.

            (But Ursula, you say, she could just have written it all down! Taking her voice wouldn’t stop that! To which I say—did you ever meet her? It took her three tries to write her own name. Our contract was a verbal agreement because otherwise she’d still be reading it and the prince would be dead of old age.)

            Anyway I gave her voice to an albatross, if you must know. She was tired of endless gliding, had ambitions to be an opera singer. I made her dream come true.

            Made the poor fool of a mermaid’s dream come true too, for that matter. Gave her legs and brought her to the prince’s attention. That last was included free of charge and was never part of the original contract.

            It’s not my fault the prince wasn’t much interested. I imagine you meet a lot of beautiful women when you’re a prince.

            He wasn’t a bad sort, really. He was very polite. He could see she was a few grunions short of a run and he made sure they took good care of her.

            Good thing he was a decent sort. The kind of prince who sees a beautiful girl staggering along the beach, half-naked, unable to talk, with a scarred throat (look, nobody can fix gill slits all the way, I did my best and I’d like to see you do better) moving like she’s drunk and falling down a lot—anyway, the kind of prince who sees a girl like that and says “Oh yeah, I gotta get me some of that!”?

            Yeah, not a nice person. Probably bashes great auks over the head for fun. You don’t want to deal with a prince like that.

            (And yes, I would have stopped him. I don’t like to see creatures suffer, even stupid young ones in love. Maybe especially stupid young ones in love. He wouldn’t have gotten very far. I’ve got some very interesting stuff in the pantry and the King of Gulls owes me a favor.)

            Well, anyway.

            It was a long time ago now. Not by my standards—I’m more or less immortal, just like Great-Aunt Meryl—but by hers. The prince became the king in due time, and he married a smart, good-natured young woman who came with a dowry and a very expedient political alliance.

            But he didn’t forget the young woman on the beach. He was a good king. He took care of her. Even after he died, he made sure of it.

            The girl who used to be a mermaid is old now. She walks on the beach—very slowly these days, for the stones are small and turn underfoot—and she picks her way carefully. They send a strapping young man to walk beside her, to make sure she doesn’t fall.

            Sometimes she smiles up at that young man, the way she smiled up at her prince. I think perhaps she doesn’t remember the difference anymore.

            That’s a happy ending if you like. I see them sometimes, the old woman and the young servant, looking out over the ocean. The tide comes in, the tide goes out.

            Anyway. The story got around a bit differently. Stories always do. Turning your back on a story is like turning your back on the ocean. Everybody adding details, everybody adding lines that fall on the ear like music and never mind where the truth falls by the wayside.

            Everybody wants a hero so they know who to cheer for.

            That’s fine. I don’t expect cheering.

            She doesn’t look unhappy when she walks along the shore. But perhaps some day that young man will look the other way—distracted by a pretty girl’s smile, say—and she’ll make her way down to the water.

            And if she wants—and if she still remembers–she’ll be welcome back here. You can always reverse engineer a gill slit. Who knows, all those mortal years might have been enough to learn wisdom.

            We’ll still be here, under the waves. Nothing much has changed.

            The tide goes in, the tide goes out.

            All the same in the end.

The Sea Witch Sets the Record Straight

Because A) Nine Goblins has sold over 500 copies the first week, and that’s pretty awesome, and B) I am where I am, and y’know how it is, here’s a little something by way of amusement.

            The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight

            I didn’t take her voice for myself. I want to set the record straight on that, right up front. People got a lot of crazy notions in their heads, the way the story got around, and that was one of them.

I’m not saying I never did an evil deed—anyone who says they haven’t is lying through their teeth—but I didn’t take her voice for myself. I didn’t need it. I’ve got a perfectly fine voice, thank you, trained by whale divas, and it’s mine.

Seriously, you start stealing people’s voices and using them yourself and pretty soon you don’t know which voice is yours and which one’s an echo and then you’re mad and howling and people are standing around in caves during low tide asking where the screaming’s coming from and someone else is saying “Oh, it’s just some trick of the acoustics.”

Go ahead, laugh. That trick of the acoustics is my Great-Aunt Meryl and you don’t want to wait for high tide. I’ve seen her tear the head off an elephant seal. With her nails.

Best not to start down that channel at all, really.

No, I took her voice for two simple reasons—she was a twit and she was in love.  I took one look at her and knew that she’d spill everything she knew in the pretty human boy’s ear, and then where would we be?

It doesn’t go so well when humans know about us, have you noticed? Ask one selkie if she’s feeling happier now that she spent a decade on shore with some jerk who stole her hide off the rocks. (Sure, some of them think it’ll be romantic—bull selkies aren’t anybody’s notion of charming, though they do have a certain over-muscled appeal—but it’s not so romantic when you’re spending your youth cooking and cleaning for an illiterate fisherman and bearing his brats through a pelvis that isn’t nearly so accommodating as it used to be.)

I’d say “ask a Stellar’s sea cow” but you can’t, because they’re all dead. And just try to find a sea mink. I was very fond of sea mink. They were inquisitive little devils and they made chirpy noises when you stroked them. I haven’t forgiven humans for the sea mink. Or the sea cows, for that matter.

Do not get me started on the great auk.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that the minute somebody in a position of authority—like, oh, I don’t know, a prince—figures out that there’s a whole underwater civilization, we’re in the deep muck. It might start out civilized at first, but it won’t stay that way. Somebody’s bound to figure out that there’s a lot of very useful things in the ocean.

Rare things. Hidden things. Things of power.

You want to hide something from the prying hands of mortals, you drop it in the sea. It’s been going on for years. I’ve got things in my pantry that could unmake continents if you could find them and get them into the right hands. Or wrong hands, as the case may be.

And it doesn’t even have to be the magic rings and the enchanted swords and the world-breakers and the leftover ansible.  Let the humans start mucking about with our people on a purely practical level and it still won’t end well.

Hell, they could keep sirens in cages on whaling ships to call the whales in–fish-speakers to drive the king-of-herring’s subjects into the nets–and you don’t even want to know what they’ll do for mineral rights. Gold’s the least of it. There’s a place down around the edge of the cape where you can find diamonds the size of an eel’s skull. Pray the humans never find out about it.

Plus, of course, there’s our women. No, not me. I’m not saying I’m not attractive, but at my age, I’m more interested in a good meal and a good nap. You find me a man who wants both those things, maybe with a conversation about the finer points of mantis shrimp breeding thrown in, then we’ll talk.

But you have two cultures breaking against each other, it’s the young women who are going to come out the losers. Any two cultures. Pick two. The tide goes in, the tide goes out. Somethings don’t change.

I’ve got nieces, you know.

So yes, I did take the little fool’s voice. Her prince wasn’t going to find about us on my watch.

(But Ursula, you say, she could just have written it all down! Taking her voice wouldn’t stop that! To which I say—did you ever meet her? It took her three tries to write her own name. Our contract was a verbal agreement because otherwise she’d still be reading it and the prince would be dead of old age.)

Anyway I gave her voice to an albatross, if you must know. She was tired of endless gliding, had ambitions to be an opera singer. I made her dream come true.

Made the poor fool of a mermaid’s dream come true too, for that matter. Gave her legs and brought her to the prince’s attention. That last was included free of charge and was never part of the original contract.

It’s not my fault the prince wasn’t much interested. I imagine you meet a lot of beautiful women when you’re a prince.

He wasn’t a bad sort, really. He was very polite. He could see she was a few grunions short of a run and he made sure they took good care of her.

Good thing he was a decent sort. The kind of prince who sees a beautiful girl staggering along the beach, half-naked, unable to talk, with a scarred throat (look, nobody can fix gill slits all the way, I did my best and I’d like to see you do better) moving like she’s drunk and falling down a lot—anyway, the kind of prince who sees a girl like that and says “Oh yeah, I gotta get me some of that!”?

Yeah, not a nice person. Probably bashes great auks over the head for fun. You don’t want to deal with a prince like that.

(And yes, I would have stopped him. I don’t like to see creatures suffer, even stupid young ones in love. Maybe especially stupid young ones in love. He wouldn’t have gotten very far. I’ve got some very interesting stuff in the pantry and the King of Gulls owes me a favor.)

Well, anyway.

It was a long time ago now. Not by my standards—I’m more or less immortal, just like Great-Aunt Myrtle—but by hers. The prince became the king in due time, and he married a smart, good-natured young woman who came with a dowry and a very expedient political alliance.

But he didn’t forget the young woman on the beach. He was a good king. He took care of her. Even after he died, he made sure of it.

The girl who used to be a mermaid is old now. She walks on the beach—very slowly these days, for the stones are small and turn underfoot—and she picks her way carefully. They send a strapping young man to walk beside her, to make sure she doesn’t fall.

Sometimes she smiles up at that young man, the way she smiled up at her prince. I think perhaps she doesn’t remember the difference anymore.

That’s a happy ending if you like. I see them sometimes, the old woman and the young servant, looking out over the ocean. The tide comes in, the tide goes out.

Anyway. The story got around a bit differently. Stories always do. Turning your back on a story is like turning your back on the ocean. Everybody adding details, everybody adding lines that fall on the ear like music and never mind where the truth falls by the wayside.

Everybody wants a hero so they know who to cheer for.

That’s fine. I don’t expect cheering.

She doesn’t look unhappy when she walks along the shore. But perhaps some day that young man will look the other way—distracted by a pretty girl’s smile, say—and she’ll make her way down to the water.

And if she wants—and if she still remembers–she’ll be welcome back here. You can always reverse engineer a gill slit. Who knows, all those mortal years might have been enough to learn wisdom.

We’ll still be here, under the waves. Nothing much has changed.

The tide goes in, the tide goes out.

All the same in the end.