One of the loveliest things that ever happened to me was becoming friends with a mermaid. I am a loyal friend, but I do tend to drop out of sight frequently. I think mermaids know how to handle that. They too sometimes spend their time in the depths of the ocean as opposed to combing their long beautiful hair while sitting on a rock. Mermaids are iridescent, shimmering in the light but they are shy too.
My mermaid friend sends cards in the mail, which make me feel loved. It's nice to feel loved, to be remembered. Some of my friends don't really know how best to deal with my illness and my retreating. They are afraid of disturbing me, interrupting my sleep, bothering me in some way so they leave it up to me to make contact when I feel okay. But it's nice to be interrupted sometimes. I need it actually. I need people to check on me because I tend not to ask for help and sometimes, often actually, I would happily be woken up just to be reminded that I am loved.
I am probably not a perfect friend, probably not getting it right. I have high standards which I cannot meet myself so I don't hold anyone else to them. I'm too busy worrying that I am not a good enough friend to be criticising anyone's way of being friends with me. But, I do want to thank my mermaid friend for sending cards in the mail. It's such a treat to get anything in the mail that isn't junk or a bank statement. I only check my mailbox once a week because that is how uninteresting my mail usually is. What a joy, a novelty, a long forgotten thing it is to find something in the mail that is there simply to tell me that my friendship is appreciated. I am old enough to remember when that kind of thing used to happen more often. Now, it is the kind of thing that makes me smile to myself, a small tear forming in one eye. Salt water. Reminding me of a mermaid.