Fantasy Corona Commercial Land Early this morning I was falling asleep again after being awake since 3 and started to have a dream about you. I could feel myself sinking like how it feels when the river yanks you down through the hoop of an innertube. The dream had a taste. Concentrated snow cone syrup and thumbs after squeezing limes through copper beer necks. The tacky, musky sweetness of your shoulder where my lips wish they could find peace. Like the blustering summer wind rushing into wide, laughing mouths. The dream was naturally strange and erotic but those parts I can’t remember clearly enough to describe them, only the wobbling blue of the apartment pool and my feet burning from the heat of the concrete. You took my body in the water like there had never been distance between us. The sunblock silkened off our skin. Your swim trunks billowed and tickled my inner-thighs. I could feel my heart expand and retract like a stomach. If I close my eyes now I can still hear the water sloshing around us, gurgling down the filter, jetting through our toes. We got out and dried off near the 3 foot tile. Cicadas were loud as fuck and somewhere nearby a Creed song was playing. Overhead, the clouds looked like ripped apart cotton balls. I watched your hair soften into the velvety, fawn color of a crushed Sycamore seed. I asked you why I resisted your love before and you said that you suspect it has something to do with how I felt about myself. I told you I still felt the same way about myself but that I feel differently about you and you said nothing, which hurt like a sucker punch. The dream sun battered our arms that were covering our faces. Reality tugged at my toes and for a second my forearms became a ceiling fan but like love, I resisted truth and returned to you in a maxi dress with my skin reeking of aloe vera. We were inside your air-conditioned apartment and the Creed song was playing from your speakers, My Sacrifice. You smiled and a little part of my actual spirit died because spirits don’t dissipate in dreams. You were sitting there on the leather couch smiling beautifully, in that “hey there” way like you knew something about me that I didn’t, and you were watching the fourth quarter of a close basketball game and everything was a dark plum thickness except for the phosphorescence pinging off the player’s mesh shorts. I sat next to you on my knees. Part of your face was blurry like a badly taken photograph. I noticed your beer kept going missing and then returning to the coffee table. I touched you and you were hot like a pan. I set my palm against your back and it sizzled. Careful, you said, don’t hurt yourself. Too fucking late. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you so badly, so deeply, that it was literally killing me to love you this much, that I had been holding all this love in my throat for all these years and now it was spilling out and making me sick. You looked at me and your eyes were wet and full of butterfly shapes and suddenly they overflowed, drenching my lap with sopping yellow wings. You weren’t crying, you were coming apart. We were under stars then, lying on chaise lounges. The moon was a silver string and a lone palm tree curved overhead. It was as if we were living out your Corona beer commercial fantasy life, only we had no beer. I felt intensely thirsty. The ocean gently rolled under our chairs, frothing as it receded. You reached up and took a handful of sky and gave it to me, told me to use it when I needed. For what? I asked, holding the sky like a bundle of Christmas lights. No answer. The what if keeps bringing me back here but I never get any resolve. The pain finds new depths in which to burrow. I dropped the sky and went to you, rested on where your heart should be but the only noise was the whistle of an empty room. I kissed you but your mouth was limp so I kissed you again and again and again without reciprocation. Why? I asked. Why? Because I’m dead, you said, you know this. I’ve been dead for years. Your body began to fall through the cracks in the plastic strips like how water falls through spaced fingers. I couldn’t keep you for a second longer and even though I know this I can’t accept it. You were gone, slunk into the star-flecked sand. Back in the real world I heard my name being called seventeen times and effortfully, I abandoned your empty chair and your fantasy Corona commercial land and returned to real life.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
Natalie Harrison (she/her) lives in Sacramento, California with her husband and daughter. She has a certificate in creative writing with UC Berkeley Extension. Follow her on Twitter @nattywritergirl, Instagram @nattything and listen to her writing playlists on Spotify @TrillGirl