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.
The headlights were too low to be Ryder’s aging Silverado. I did not have other family left, or many friends in town, and none would have visited at this hour.
We speak of this fantasy when he is not too groggy from the morphine. In these times of clarity, my love for him forms bone and muscle.
Later, the girls stand in front of the open refrigerator, slightly feral: slices of cheese torn from plastic, pickles from the jar, a swig of Hershey’s syrup, jelly scooped out with a finger.
They gorge on mosquitoes and butterflies, a glut that cupcakes and roasted beef cannot satisfy. Mosquitos: a bloody morsel. Butterflies: how thrilling to make a meal of such gentle beauty.
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.
“Hello,” the very small girl whispered to the pup as she settled into her seat. “My name is Tillie. Your name is Levi, and you are mine.”
I couldn’t drop this in Sawyer’s lap. He couldn’t know there was any more trouble than driving into town when the well ran dry.
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.
what’s your name
where are you going
do you need a ride