54. Lana Gould

Lana is a mermaid, she just needs to get the surgery. She’s already dyed her hair and stopped wearing clothes most of the time. And every day she takes the bus out to Santa Monica to walk the beach, even though it’s two hours each way and she can’t stay past 6:30. It’s better than nothing, until she gets the money together.
Lana lifeguards at a public pool in Pasadena, and even when she didn’t dye her hair, it was always half green. Chlorine does that to blonds. She never raced, and she doesn’t swim laps. She dives deep down and glides in lazy circles beneath the kicking feet, until her lungs feel bruised and the water digs its thumbs into her eardrums. She gets a lot of ear infections.
She doesn’t much like fish – to eat or to look at – but she figures that won’t be a problem. Mermaids keep their own company. She knows she’s a mermaid because of the quiet familiarity of deep water, and the well-known fact that mermaids have no souls. So she walks the beach each afternoon til six fifteen and waits, for her bank account to fill up, and for someone to invent the surgery.

[Face by Soren Melville]

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