A Mermaid May Lose Her Soul...
“That’s a long time for a mermaid to go without swimming,” Ardis Fucking Moonlight nods, when PP mentions how she hasn't been swimming for 10! whole days. She oozes sympathy in her boundary driven paradigm. But PP thinks that she probably is. Sympathetic. Esp. since now she’s told PP how to get to her YMCA in Coraday (From some poem, but AFM doesn’t know which one even though she lives there. It does sound kinda familiar to PP, but hell, she doesn’t live there, she only wants to swim there—Poet Owen? Do you know from which poem, Coraday comes from?)
“Yeah, it is,” PP is beaming. Finally, all the mermaid goddesses seem to be on her side what with the power back on, Southwest Airlines giving her back her original return ticket on the 29th for only an extra 68 bucks. (Damn, what a rip-off, but the airlines are scum right now. Everyone knows this, so PP is just happy that they didn’t charge her more!)
“A mermaid may lose her soul if she goes too long without swimming,” AFM intones as she waves bye to PP off in the Chevy Cobalt, fins and swim gear in hand.
Lose her soul?
PP almost very nearly did.
And she blames not only her abysmal lack of direction, but also the extreme disorientation that she’s experiencing moving between her fiction world and the real world, if you can call Southern Indiana the real world.
PP thinks she’ll call it the Chicken World.
First off, AFM gave PP abysmal directions to the Y. You know the kind, “Get on Hwy 64 East” Which way is East? “The way that’s not West. Then get off at the Coroday exit. Then turn left at the I think it’s the 2nd light once you’re off the highway? Anyway it says welcome to Historic Coraday and then drive down the road a piece and you’ll pass a produce market and a Mexican restaurant I don’t know if that kinda thing helps you out, and then you’re gonna make a left after the Mexican restaurant I don’t know the name of the street, but I think it’s Foundation and then just follow the signs and you’ll see the Y. If you get lost, just ask anyone and they’ll tell you. Everyone knows where the Y is.
Do you think PP got lost?
Has a Mermaid lost her soul yet?
The drive on the highway went okay though there was a moment of panic when highway 64 seemed to be an exit to Lanesville (why is everything a ‘ville’ in Indiana?) PP opted not to take the Laneville exit as it wasn’t Coroday, but the signage was confusing.
Next the sign for Coroday said 15 miles. 15 miles! Why didn’t AFM tell her it was so far? The mermaid’s soul is being tried!
But it’s pretty, with rolling green hills and big leafy trees and cornfields. Yes there are Real Corn fields in Indiana!
The trouble started getting off at the Coroday exit. PP counted the stoplights. 1, 2 and then turned left. There was a Mexican restaurant that she passed as she wound around a mall, and then down a hill into a big complex marked ‘Private Property” ONG Corp.
Ummm...this didn’t seem to be the YMCA!
So, PP does her first of too many U turns to keep track of and heads back up the hill. Thinks that she’ll take AFM’s advice and ask for directions. Pulls into a Lee’s Fried Chicken Drive-Thro and waits in line behind a redneck who orders an Entire Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, cole slaw and a large Lemon lime.
Astounded, PP thinks to herself how there was absolutely NOTHING she would eat from this place as she asks the Chicken Woman behind the counter if she knew where the YMCA was.
Chicken Woman stares at her, eyes wide behind smudgy glasses, shaking her head. Another Chicken Woman, this one younger with the ear order piece thingee plugged into her head, tells PP to head back out to the main road, and make another left and then another left and sorry she didn’t know the name of any of the roads, but keep making lefts.
She’s lost again.
So many left turns, and no YMCA. It seems that AFM is wrong. Everyone doesn’t know where the Y is!
PP has to stop a minute and wonder, is this story getting boring? Maybe she should just cut to the chase?
Nah, why not let the reader experience her experience!
So, next she stops and asks the old retired southern gentleman at the Tourist Information center: “May I help you M’am?”
“I’d be eternally grateful if you could tell me how to get to the YMCA!” PP is still joking, her mermaid soul intact for a little while longer, but it’s getting drier and drier the longer she drives around in circles.
Tourist Info Man shows her a map, upside down, “Guess it might be easier if I turned it right side up!” he chuckles.
Yeah, PP thinks, she can’t read maps anyway. Later she wishes she’d tried harder over the years to read a map, but it’s too late on this day. The die is cast. She’s lost again with the upside-down map, driving up and down hills, past suburban green lawns and Duke Energy Guys sawing down felled trees and near tears now, she hears a ‘ring ring ring’ from the Cobalt. And goddamnit, she’s almost out of gas!
How much soul would she lose if she were to run out of gas trying to find the stupid Coraday YMCA?
Her soul would be gone forever, she’s sure of it as she turns around and panicking looks up and down each street for a gas station, the ding ding ding going off every few minutes, the green lights flashing, “LOW FUEL” at her.
Damn. The Cobalt is not like the Geo, which can run on other cars exhaust when necessary.
Where the hell is a gas station in decidedly non-poetic Coraday? PP is so sick of living her Blog! She doesn’t want to live all these Pool Searching Stories. She just wants to swim!
Will she find a gas station before it's too late? And then, will she find a pool? Will readers stay tuned?
PP hopes so on all counts.....otherwise her Mermaid soul will be sunk to the bottom of Snake Lake in Etenal Damnation!
~to be continued~