They came, rolled up in a triangular cardboard tube with a label on the outside marked "To Christina Habibi and Emily Noble." We opened the package together, and pulled out the rolled up paper inside. After carefully undoing the wrapping, the paper popped opened like a cork and suddenly possibilities seemed endless, as though a genie had appeared.
From the paper, looking out at us, were two beautiful mermaids floating in a blue ocean with floating locks of golden hair.
Christina's mother had sent us a beautiful gift of mermaids. It was a large painting she had created, which had been hanging in a bedroom of her house. Christina and I had fallen in love with it the last time we visited Arizona. The color of the oceanic background matches the Arizona sky. The mermaids have the most beautiful eyes, they are alive enough to follow you, but too serene to bother. The lovely creatures hover just above the ocean floor, jeweled like Goddesses. One of them delicately cups a seahorse, her back is turned away from the bow of a sunken ship, as if to say "I am too content to bother with concerns of man".
The genie that came riding in with the mermaids was not a painting, but a different sort of precious gift. It was the gift of possibilities, pages of crisp new sheets of composition paper on which to write the story of my life. Christina's family has offered me a fresh new chapter designated toward a section entitled My Incredible In-laws. They are willing to accept me as a member of their family even though our society and our legal system has not yet decided whether or not to believe in our love.
I remember when I used to think that I had no vote in the realm of what was real and what was fantasy. I now realize that if I am willing to suspend my disbelief, and be open to all possibilities, my book has infinite endings.
blend together 1-2 Tbsp red onion, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp salad oil, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp sugar, a few drops soy sauce (10) a sprinkle of paprika, salt and pepper.
Mix together 1/2 avocado, 1/4 red cabbage, 1 bulb of fennel
Christina's vote: "This salad made me wonder why"