Written with my Thursday night writing group with the prompts: couldn’t find my keys, night in Fiji, half-life, listening to trees, embracing endings, where shall we go, plumeria
I dug in my purse—life savers, lip stick, coin purse, tissues. When I couldn’t find my keys, I decided I was too drunk to drive home. So I ordered another glass of Chardonnay and called an Uber.
I thought of my night in Fiji. I was drinking rum when I landed on the beach, wondering how long is the half-life of a hang-over. I was embracing endings on the trip, the death of my mother, the end of an affair. He and I had planned this trip together, but grief was too real for him. His new job was a convenient excuse.
A half-moon was rising and the date palms were speaking. Where shall we go? they asked me, but I knew their question was not innocuous. This was a dare, and I knew I was up for it. I kicked off my sandals, hitched up my skirt and headed down to the surf. The heady scent of plumeria drew me forward. The water was spongey, buoyant with salt. I was so young, so agile. The stars were reflected in the ocean, dark blue, above and below, tiny drops of gold, here and here and here. I was leaping, running as light as a baby deer, racing home across the sea, back home from Fiji, back home to an empty house without parent or lover, but it would be my house, my home, my life, my world. All at once, I was here, still drunk, still alone in the corner bar, drinking cheap wine.
Twelve times this year. Twelve dreams of Fiji.