Memories, Mermaids and Fairies in a World Full of Weeping

It’s that time of year again, when mothers unpack toiletries and warm socks, worry if their child’s coat is warm enough, stand in dorm rooms shaking out down comforters over their children’s beds.

A Word, Please. . .

Their names were printed in black on white paper —”Arianna and Thomasina.”

The letter came in 1987, to my father’s house in Cave Creek, Arizona. Or rather, it came to my dad’s shop in town, to Shield’s English Riding Shop, our mailing address. The letter was hand delivered to me by my father when he got home from work.


The college I would be attending in New York was informing me of my dorm placement.

“Try and sound really neurotic in your profile and you might get a single,” someone told me when I was filling out my profile. So I tried.

Somewhere in my trying to sound neurotic, I made it sound like I should live in a triple. Three of us were assigned to a room in Westlands, the mansion which was the home of the college’s founders, the centerpiece of campus. Myself, Misty, and two other girls, Arianna and Thomasina — mermaids reclining on rocks just offshore…

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