Once you clear off the fog
you'll see that there was a manso little in the middle of the sea
oceans of tears in his eyes.
He stood up on the bulwarkssuch a weight on him
he looked down, up, around and around
"God, the pain! No love anywhere!"
he cried, and went over the side;
it looked like suicide.
He went down and down, darker
and darker, colder and colder, then
he gave up, opened his mouth
and the sea turned him inside out.
Down down down he floated
into black silence, but … then
a bit further, into pink glowing
glowing more and more, and lighter
like a sunrise.
Below, there was a giant pink oyster bed
getting bigger, brighter, wider
the sailor had made it all the way
to the ocean floor.
Then he saw the mermaid.
"Come down here," she said.
"I think I know you."
"You do?" asked the sailor, drifting
like seaweed, but dropping softly
like a pearl.
"And I like you, too. Were you just now
committing suicide?" The mermaid's smile
was so beautific with her yellow hair spread out
in the water - like a sunrise - that the sailor
wasn't embarrassed at all about trying to do
himself in, above.
"I was. Or I did. Aren't I dead?" he asked,
looking at her twinkling bed waving kelp,
"No. You're not. I tried it too, but I'm alive.
Don't ask me how we're breathing down here,
those are technical details less interesting to me
than philosophy but I will say that as I drifted
down here one night last year I changed
the way I was going to see everything, from then on.
From now on.
I fumbled around down here in the dark,
made my bed, and everything changed!"
"Well - how should I say this - what do you mean?"
asked the sailor.
"It was dark when I floated down, like it was
for you, yes? But as I floated there in the black,
I thought, I knew it! Then I shouted it, in the water:
I KNEW IT! My shouting had a ripple effect,
in more ways than one."
The sailor motioned toward the bed,
the mermaid nodded why of course
and he floated down and reclined
while she went on.
"To make a long story short, I found out
for sure - down here - what I always knew.
It's not dark in my mind. In spite of everything
So if I can see with my eyes, from me out
and not only absorb with my eyes
all that darkness that I was in, literally, well …
"Can you really do it? Is it that easy?"
"Well, I'm practicing," she said, and they laughed.
"Maybe it is a little bit pie in the sky."
"Or oyster in the ocean. But I think you have something.
I jumped because life was bad, my childhood
was bad, and my way of thinking felt bad,"
said the sailor.
"Me too. I committed suicide too. But I knew
about the light in my brain, knew I was born with it,
and after a few nights down here, last year, I decided this:
Once you've seen the truth of your childhood, you go
make up the rest of your life."
"Maybe that's why we can breathe down here."
"I think you're right."
Now the oyster bed was glowing green and blue shells.
"Hey, can I stay down here? This bed looks like
Monet's water lilies!"
"It's a Queen-size bed, and yes,
I want you to," said the mermaid, smiling.
"Maybe it's a California-King."
"Well, we are just off that coast."
"Gee, and I thought I was sailing past Boston
when I jumped."
"Either way!" said the mermaid, laughing,
letting loose a silver spray of bubbles, handing
the sailor a starfish sandwich.