I was fishing with my dad from a platform overlooking a creek or small pond. It was daytime, but things felt calm and leisurely, like at sunset. Our poles were just sticks, like broom handles, but we weren’t worried about it. Suddenly, I feel my line tug, and I pulled on the rod to reel in the fish, but instead the fish yanked the line, and actually pulled me off the platform into the water! Somehow I kept the line tight, even though I was floating in the water, and I passed the rod back up to my father so I could climb out. But as I’m about to climb up the pool ladder back onto the platform, a woman in a bikini comes up from underwater right next to me and also holds onto the ladder. She has long hair and looks a bit like my sister when she was younger, but I know it isn’t her. I sensed immediately that there was a romantic or erotic connection, and then she kissed me seductively, and there was water in our mouths. I let myself fall back into the water with her and we began to swim and fool around in what was now a warm ocean near a sandy beach. Then I realized she was a mermaid, with a tail and everything (even though I was still attracted to her), and we keep diving under water and swimming really quickly without worrying about breathing. But at one point I swam up to the shimmering surface, and discovered that the woman is now Miyuki, one of my former students at school. She’s sitting on a surfboard, smiling in the sunlight like nothing had changed, and clearly wanting the fun to continue. (Note – Actually she did once try to teach me to surf during a “field trip” to the beach that I was the chaperone on). I feel strangely conflicted – I realize it is inappropriate to be carrying on like that with a student, but at the same time somehow I know she’s still the mermaid woman, just hiding in a different form. I then realize I’m wearing several layers of thick clothing on my upper body (sweaters, thick shirts, my school uniform jacket), but nothing down below. It also suddenly occurs to me that I have to make sure everybody gets back by 5 o’clock. It was like I suddenly remembered I was responsible for a big field trip, and that I had to get everybody back on the bus. Miyuki was still gesturing for me to come play with her, but I turned to wade back to the beach, pulling my wet sweaters down over my hips. I felt ashamed, but I don’t know if it was because I was half naked, or because I was having kind of illicit fun with the Mermaid/ Miyuki, or because I turned away and left her smiling in the sunshine.
(Paul included the text above with the object. It describes the dream he had, which the scrimshaw illustrates. For more details about Paul, these objects, and how they ended up with me, click here!)