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It seems the Coronado cherries are rotting again, and their excessive sweetness is bottled and sold as car air freshener. Suffocating. But it’s still one of the only fragrances I can recall anytime I’m alone on a border town night, thinking about the Mexican surfers, riding driftwood like waxed long boards. There are only a few of you, I tell him calmly as the breeze pushes the decayed red fruit through my lungs, you have to trust me when I say this. He doesn’t respond, I know he doesn’t believe me. They never do. I’m twisted in a wet t-shirt, wringing sand out of my hair, briny and scant. I think there will be a time when you forget about the others and just let yourself be the only one. The scoff he makes pricks my heart in a stingray barb sort of way. In the end it’s because they can never believe that they’ll be the only one, sometimes I don’t know if I believe it. I never thought I’d be sitting here with this burn, and a wet cigarette looking at waves licking children into their surf. I suppose I always thought I’d die somewhere between the wild west and the train tracks. I’ve proved a lot of people wrong over the years and I think the thing that gets me higher than good chronic is that look of astounded surprise at my unabashed comeback, the domination under impossible odds. Sometimes I think I let myself go just so I can blow them all away at my ability to claw through the dregs of used condoms and needles, sanitary napkins and McDonald’s Happy Meals, boxes of left over lo mien with maggots writhing inside, to come out on top. Then I smell the cherries, dark candy. I can’t always come back though, sometimes I sit on the beach and wring out my hair and the man I love doesn’t trust the words that come out of my mouth. He knows I’m convincing, he knows I’m as putrid as the gray pits the seagulls swallow, sucking the left over shreds. He used to like that about me. He doesn’t feel so inclined. There is a funny line, that I never really notice until it’s too late, which determines where feelings will turn. The line is thin and disguised. It hides in refrigerators and carpet stains. The line is so good at camouflaging itself that we weave ourselves over it time again without so much as a hiccup. Until one day, he’s feeling especially perceptive, he acknowledges I’ve crossed it. Then the words, the same ones I’ve used so many times, the ones I rely on more heavily than iron or steel, they become moot and useless. It is at this moment I realize I am only talking to myself, and the only thing they really wanted was a store-bought bottle of cherry flavored air freshener, sweet and condensed, so they can forget that it was rotten to begin with.


About deadendemily

Emily lives in Austin, TX. She has a minor in chaos and a major in spray paint. She likes Vincent Price and ABBA. She enjoys being covered in fake blood and writing horror stories. Most of the time she just hopes that her cat is not plotting to murder her, her cat being a minion of Satan and all. They would never suspect the cat.

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