First, there was a dream of the Salton Sea, its fishy shores and trailer parks. I learned of Slab City in ruins, a settlement for artists and junkies.
The new girl said Stevie Nicks could teach me how to be a witch. I don’t remember caring about black magic. Instead, it was the desperate promise of receiving attention from a mother, but not being a daughter.
I notice a wall of perfumes behind the counter on the shelves that used to hold cigarettes. They say scent is the strongest trigger of memory, but I don’t need to open the boxes to be transported.
I sort the letters into chronological order. I take another sip. I try not to drink too often, but I’ve marked this ritual is an occasion. I’ve done it before; the wine, the sorting, and the tight feeling in my chest that may cause me to finish the bottle.
I asked him for cigarettes, taking a chance he’d want to be a cool dad. I stood on his deck later, focused on making a cigarette burn on the cuff of my jacket.
I was stoned the summer after high school. We went to Taco Bell every day. I’d been in the system since junior high.
At that point, we expected locked doors, staff with keys, and intricate systems of levels and points that determined our value, our movements, our freedoms.
I want to catcall dogs.
I’ve never understood men in passing cars catcalling women on the street. What a terrible way to get a date.
My catcalls to dogs will surely be different.
The Onion Van was parked adjacent to a road leading deep into the forest, quite possibly the very primrose path that carries people to places miles from where anyone can hear them scream.
I spent a few moments gauging everyday items that were wider than this walkway; my dog, my laptop, a submarine sandwich placed sideways, a yoga mat, most table games except for Uno, and me.