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Mist Between The Pines
By Bremer Acostia
I once lived in a town called Fogfield. You’d know the place if you ever ran out of gas while driving somewhere more desirable. You see, Fogfield isn’t really much of a town, as far as towns go. Some towns are big, other towns are small. In the grand scheme of town sizes, this one is somewhere in the middle, wedged in between a mountain and a forest of pines.
Here’s a little trivia about Fogfield. Read in between the lines of the brochure:
The townspeople here wear polka-dotted dresses and undertaker suits with blood ties.
Sometimes the businessmen wear the polka-dotted dresses and dance inside a nightclub
called the Loose Oyster. They probably tell their wives they’re driving to the hardware
store to buy tools.
The houses look like plastic models inside a train garden. Every lawn is freshly mowed
and glittering with dew from last night’s rain. At six every morning, the husbands all exit
their doors at the same time, wave to their neighbors, and hop into their cream-colored
The population consists of the neighbors next door to me, the neighbors next door to
them, and the neighbors next door to the neighbors, forming a donut of houses.
Our favorite sights include miles of brown farmland, a convenience store that’s open
24/7, and a shaggy white dog with three legs. We’re not entirely sure what happened to
his other leg, but we suspect that he lost it while reaching to lick his crotch.
Now with the town’s history taken care of, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. Ah, let’s see here: I’ve never been one of those good-looking guys. You know the ones. They have messy blond hair, green eyes, dimples, and athletic scholarships. And come to think of it, I’ve never been that smart either. Mom always told me if I studied hard enough, I could be a dishwasher someday.
And if you were to see me, you’d probably look back once and then really stare. That’s because I was born with three noses. My one flushed nose curves over to the left but my two smaller ones are the size of a puppet’s wooden nostrils. Ok. I know, I know. Every time I tell somebody that, they probably think to themselves, “What a flying bunch of bullshit,” but I’m telling the truth. Really, I am.
You see, all the country’s top specialists with plaques lining their walls and degrees from Harvard, said I was a regular anomaly, and I wouldn’t live past my first year. And despite their face scans and warnings, I decided to go on living, much to everyone’s displeasure.
I even had my very own picture posted inside the medical books. So, if you’re ever bored one day, and you happen to scan through a red tomb written in obscure English about the world’s strangest conditions, you’ll see me.
But most days, I’m not a celebrity or anybody special. And to hide my noses, I wear a cloth mask in public. Some people come up to me and ask me to remove it. But I never do. And some people, well, most people living in Fogfield, avoid looking at me, afraid that my deformity could be infectious, afraid that if they actually talked to me, I’d tell them some bizarre truths about who they really are.
You see, I don’t like those people very much. Never have. Never will. And I never really liked people at all, to be quite honest. I mostly kept to myself, avoiding neighbors like a rat avoids the mousetrap. And I stayed this way for quite a while, feeling this disconnect as I threw beer bottles at glass windows and stole cigarette-butts from Mom’s ashtray. I don’t know why I did all those things, but I’m not a bad guy. I swear.
And during my years the folk in Fogfield eyed me up, thinking I was a candidate for the penitentiary, telling each other fables about my noses when I wasn’t around. But I could tell they all barked about me. I could see shame in their downcast eyes, their brisk walks when I went into the store to buy clothes, their low whispers when I ordered a burger at the stand. But all this hostility changed for me, all this dim unease inside me vanished, when I met her, when I met my truest love.
You see, the fair came to town. All the people in my community went, myself included. I walked on the dirt ground, glancing at the kaleidoscopic purple, green, and orange lights. The rides swirled above my head, rustling my brown hair, as the carnies smoked stogies and cranked their metal amusements to spin faster.
“Step right up,” said one man near a wooden mallet. I didn’t know if I was his customer or his exhibit.
“Come and get your deep-fried cakes, yessire, come and get ‘em,” said another carnie from behind a stand. I gazed at him for a moment and then he grinned at me with teeth rotten like gold crust, a glimpse of the future of eating deep-fried cakes.
And even with my mask hiding my face, I could still smell the blue cotton candy and the wet apples, freshly coated in caramel. I could see the dancing lights before me, asking me to join the rhythms of the fair. And since not much else happens in town, I really loved all the laughter and warped excitement through the fun-house mirrors.
Then I saw a crackling sign at the far end of the fair, next to the dart board, and right across from the bumper cars. I stood there for a moment in silence, scratching at my head. It beckoned me, pulling me forward with its florescent haze, asking for me to merge into its dance.
“Freaks: Enter if you dare,” it said, outlined in yellow bulbs.
Something inside me stirred. I lifted my head and gazed up at the sign, manipulating its words with my brain. Freaks, real-live freaks. I felt offended at first. Then I bubbled with self-righteousness. “How dare they exploit these people, my people, for the amusement of the crowd?” But my attitude soon melted into curiosity as I walked closer to the trailer, as I felt my life crackle in my throat.
The sign buzzed its florescent welcome, whispering flirtations into my ear. I expected to find a man balancing on his bald head, a tattooed showman swallowing flaming swords, two dwarves chasing each other with chainsaws, and other bizarre shows.
I expected everything that I saw on television, of an underworld of rarities that lingered inside my subconscious since birth. But I didn’t want to confront it, fearing what I could become. Despite my silly appearance, these oddities were taboo to me, infused with the gnawing sense of guilt. Maybe I didn’t want to know anybody like me. Maybe I felt too used to the image of being a stranger, knowing all too well its familiar consequences.
But when I stepped in the trailer, my eyes widened. The room seemed to settle into place from the dizziness of my delusions. As I gazed inside at gorilla boy growling and crowds aiming their cameras at the conjoined twins, I saw her. And I could hear a theme song of my youth playing in pure ‘50s romance. I felt stuck under the gravity of the moment, my eyes pried in awe.
There she was, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She wore a silk dress, which drifted in purple waves from her shoulders down to her ankles. And her translucent skin melted into her dress like candy swirls. Was she real or imaginary, poised under the dim lights? I felt an unease spread through my veins until bubbling out of my heart and groin. She swung her leg up and to the side as the neon lights swallowed the shapes of her body. Then she rotated her belly clockwise and then counterclockwise, gazing around the room with a blue veil on her face.
I didn’t know her name, I didn’t know where she came from, or why she started working here, but I did know that I loved her. Sometimes you just have to look at somebody once, like in all those chick-flicks with Cary Grant, and you know. I never believed in love or even had a vague idea about what it meant. But whatever this feeling was, whatever was making my mind burn with this deranged fire, had to be it. It just had to be.
I picked up a pamphlet and looked at the categories. Shifting my eyes over the double-jointed acrobat, the elephant with two tails, and the amazing Hercules boy, I found her heart-shaped face in the center page. I unfolded the red page like a Playboy magazine, hoping to memorize the lines of her name.
Her name was printed as Emerald and she had two special talents. She could belly-dance like a black mamba and she could pull her eyeball out of her socket. But what I was even more concerned with was her relationship status. Was she single, and if she was, was she insane? I began to feel insane, like one of those stalkers all those news programs warned their children about. But I loved her. I truly did. And she had to know.
I walked up to the head man there. He wore a red shirt with golden buttons down the middle, tight white pants, and a top hat. When I approached him and stared down, he twisted his mustache and asked, “What do you want?”
I glanced at her and then back at him. “How can I work here?”
He sneered, looking at my cloth mask, sensing the scent of nerves inside me. “Go away, boy. I got some real talent here.”
“But I have talent,” I said, touching my elbow. I felt nervous, standing there in the sweat of the room with this short, bulbous fellow. He leaned into me and breathed cigar smoke in my face. I coughed, covering my mouth, smelling the stench of his bleeding gums.
“I said go away. You wouldn’t make it here,” he said, looking at me, up and down.
“Oh, yeah?” I asked, tightening my lips.
I removed my mask and his green eyes widened. He stood there for a long moment, curling his mustache, and then he said, “You’re beautiful.” Now, I’ve never been called beautiful before, except for when my mom told me I was after a bottle of whiskey, but those strange words made my cheeks flush. I pulled my mask over my face to hide my embarrassment.
The headman peered at me for another moment and then stuck out his hand. “The name’s Big Dan,” he said, grinning devilishly, and squeezing my hand. “And I think I might just have a position opened for you. How old are you anyway, kid?”
I looked down and lied. “I’m 18.”
“Perfect,” he said. “Stick with me and you’re gonna’ go a long way in this business.”
“Thanks,” I said, looking behind him to the rusted cage where gorilla boy pranced about. But Emerald was nowhere around. She could’ve gone outside to smoke. But maybe she got a glimmer of my noses and ran away in fear. I seem to have that effect on people.
“Hey,” I said, after a moment. “Who’s that girl—you know, the one from earlier. Emerald, I think her name was?”
Big Dan patted his stomach and said, “Oh, her. You don’t want to deal with that girl. She’s nothing but trouble for me. I’m thinking of letting her go.”
“You can’t,” I said, feeling the words rise desperately from my throat. Then I settled myself down and said, “She’s a great attraction. I think you’d really be losing a lot by firing her.”
“Oh yeah?” said Big Dan, peering at me. “Why do you care anyway?”
“I don’t care,” I said, folding my arms. “What makes you think I care?”
“Good then,” he said. “But enough about that girl. When do you think you can work for me? I could certainly use your sniffers.”
“I’m available tomorrow,” I said. “Is there anywhere I can stay?”
“Stay in the trailer with the others tonight,” he said, grinning. “If you do a good enough job, maybe you’ll get your own trailer some day.”
I walked out of the Freak Show with my hands in my pockets, thinking about my ‘future life decision,’ as my guidance counselors called it. Mom would never approve, despite all the times she threw up her hands, saying, “If you don’t care about your school or paying the rent 'round here, what good are you anyway?”
Somehow I didn't think she’d even believe what I was about to attempt. Maybe it’s best to not tell her until I’m already on the road and have established myself as the three-nosed buffoon, I told myself. Ah, the hell with her worries. It’s not like she ever supported me anyway. I was still a little nervous about the age limit though. Big Dan needed some consenting adults to work for him. But I was only a sixteen-year-old punk who failed every math quiz he’d ever taken in summer school.
I looked for the red trailer perched at the back of the fair. This would be my new home. There would be no returning to my pampered life now. When I walked to where the air smelled like stale beer and garlic, I spotted a bearded woman smoking her pipe on the front porch.
She glanced at me and said, “Hey honey, whatcha doing here?”
I waved to her and said, “This is where I’m staying.”
“You sure about that?”
“You sure that’s a real beard?”
“Wanna try me?” she asked, tugging on it.
“No,” I said. “But I’m the new attraction.”
“Oh?” she said, gazing down at my crotch.
I squeezed my elbow, staring at the grass and mud.
She said, “You don’t look like much to me. What’s your talent?”
“No talent,” I said. “I’m just a weirdo.”
“Then you’re in the right place,” she said. “Let me show you where you gonna be sleepin'.”
Her hips swayed from side to side as she walked toward the trailer door. I had never seen a bearded woman before, and her brown beard and gray eyes made me feel very strange. I wondered what she’d look like if I shaved her face while she slept.
She opened the door and I peered inside. A thin man sat on a bunk with a cobra around his arms. Another guy slept with his legs all twisted up like a garden hose. And then I saw Emerald. She sat in the corner of the trailer, holding a deck of cards in her hands. I had never seen such a beauty before.
The bearded lady put her hand on her hip and said, “This here is Jamar. This is…” but I had already left her and walked straight up to Emerald. I could hear the bearded woman sigh behind me but I didn’t care.
Emerald shuffled the cards and then split the deck down the middle. “Pick one,” she said, glancing up at me. Oh, how I felt in that moment when she spoke. Her words slid out velvety.
I pointed at the middle card. She flipped that card into the deck, split it once, twice, and then showed me their red backs. “Pick again,” she said. I pointed and she did the same motions with her hands, spinning and flipping all the suits. Then she said, “Is this your card?”
I stood back, smiled, and said yes, yes it was.
“A queen for a queen,” I said and then flushed red. She made me feel so excited and scared and all of my words came out wrong or weird. Emerald grinned like she had a secret joke she wouldn’t tell me. And as she flipped the cards through her hands once again, she said “Hey, I’m Marissa, but people round here call me Emerald.”
“Hi,” I said. “I’m delighted.”
She glanced at me and asked, “What’s your name?”
I fumbled with my words, tasting all the incorrect sounds on my tongue. Then I touched my elbow, feeling the silence between us, and said, “They call me Parker where I come from. Gerald Parker.”
“And what do you do, Parker?” Amusement flashed in her blue eyes.
“As of right now,” I said. “I’m prime real estate.”
She looked at me and arched an eyebrow. “You talk funny.”
“Is that bad?”
“No, it’s cute.”
I felt my palms sweating. “Listen, Emerald,” I said and then sighed. “Would you like to walk with me? You know, get out of here and talk or something?”
“Or something?” she asked.
“Or something,” I said.
“I have to dance soon but how about afterwards? You think you can stay up?”
“I have nowhere else to go,” I said.
“Good,” she smiled.
Then after a moment she asked, “Why’re you wearing that mask? Is there something wrong with your face?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Some people say so.”
“Can I see?” She blinked at me, her long eyelashes curling.
I scratched my head and said, “Only if you walk with me later. Then I’ll show you.”
“Sure,” she said, almost hesitating for her next words. “It’s a deal.”
That night I stood outside the trailer with the bearded lady and waited. I didn’t want to see Emerald dance in front of other people. She was far too good to be spoiled by other customers laughing and poking at her as she rotated her belly and pulled out her glass eye.
The bearded lady handed me a cigarette. “You smoke?” she asked, looking ahead at the marks playing on the gambling wheel.
“No,” I said.
“It’s good to have at least one vice,” she said, smiling.
I inhaled the cigarette and coughed. My nose hairs tingled. The bearded lady leaned back on the porch and laughed like a gorilla. “Where you come from anyway, kid?” she asked.
“From around here, from another shit town on the highway.”
“It ain’t so bad,” she said, sighing. “I wish I had a home.”
Then after a moment, she asked, “Why’d you join up here?”
“Never thought I would. But I’ve got nowhere else to go…”
I flicked the cigarette on the grass and then asked, “Is that girl Emerald seeing anybody?”
“Why you want to know, honey?”
“I don’t know. I just thought—"
“Look, kid. That girl’s been through a lot. She don’t see folks who work here. Not since her last boyfriend.”
I bit my lip. “Last boyfriend?”
“Yeah,” she said, blowing a smoke ring into the night sky. “He was a goddamn abuser if I ever saw one. Beat her up pretty bad. Put lit matches on her skin, you know. That’s why she gotta wear her dress all the time now. That was a time ago,” she said. “But she don’t see boys 'round here no more.”
“And where’s this fellow now?”
“Ahhh…We took care of him. Well, Big Dan did. He’s always complaining about us, but he’s not such a bad guy, you know. He looks out for us. And now that you’re in our family, he’ll watch out for you too.”
“I’d like that,” I said, still tasting the cigarette ash on my tongue.
Then the bearded lady glanced at me and asked, “You ashamed or something?”
“You’ve had that mask on for a while. What’re you hiding under there?”
“Nothing.” I looked down.
“You know, this is the best place for freaks. We don’t ever have to worry about feeling out of place. But you gotta trust us. Just let down that mask when you’re good and ready and you don’t have to worry about nothin.”
“Thanks,” I said.
When the boys blinked out their rides for the night, and the townspeople had finished eating their deep-fried pickles, the entire place felt serene and still. I waited for a long time with the bearded lady. She told me that I’d get on here once I knew how to use a talent well. “You see,” she said to me, “it’s not just what you have to use but how you show it. You gotta be a performer. You gotta attract the crowds.” I believed her. Sure, there are bearded ladies all around the world and most of them aren’t even working for fairs. This lady, however, knew how to show off her talent: tugging at her brown beard, smiling at the onlookers, and blowing cigar smoke all round her face as the beheld the enigma.
I left her and walked around the place, hearing the Ferris wheel turn into the light wind with a rusted squeal. Ahead of me, the Herculean boy lumbered forward, wearing a loin cloth and holding his iron dumbbells. He must be one of these freak's sons, pumped up with steroids and carrot juice, indoctrinated into the show since he could guzzle protein powder from his baby bottle.
As I stood and wondered if my mom would even notice if I was gone, I saw Emerald step out of the door. She wore a purple dress to hide her skin and her golden bracelets rattled as she came forward.
She smiled and asked, “Ready for that walk, um, what’s your name again?”
“Gerald,” I said. “Gerald Parker.”
We walked in silence for a while. And while that might sound cute or romantic, inside my head, all these thoughts were buzzing around like “Hold her hand” and “Tell her you love her” and “God, I hope she doesn’t see my armpit sweat through my shirt.” But all I could really do was smile, which made her smile, and then we smiled together, like two kindergartners who just ate Elmer’s glue.
We strolled with our smiles for a couple of minutes, passing the battered trailers, until we found the edge of the woods. The moonlight shimmered down, highlighting the lines on her face. Her blue eyes looked hesitant, searching, like if I looked at her for long enough, I’d see a universe in her pupils.
“Do you walk much?” I asked, feeling my heart tighten up. Walk much, walk much? How much of an idiot could I be?
She sighed and said, “I like to after work… find some place real quiet and think.”
I gazed at her and asked, “What do you think about?”
“Nothing…” Emerald looked away to a far distant place. “I don’t think ‘bout nothing.”
“You know,” I said, moving closer. “When I came here, Big Dan told me you’d be nothing but trouble, said I shouldn’t get involved with you. But I think he was just jealous.”
“Maybe I am trouble.” She grinned.
“And he said he’d fire you if you didn’t shape up, but I don’t believe him.”
“What are you, some kind of gossip?”
“No, no. I’m just looking out for you.”
“I can handle myself.”
“Sure you can…”
She looked down. One of her eyes, the glassy one, tiled off to the side. And after a moment of standing around these woods with the bugs pecking at my skin, she said, “You’re a strange guy. You know that?”
“Aren’t you paid to be around strange people?” I asked.
“Yeah, but there’s something about you. They’re weird but you’re strange.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, for one thing, you wear a mask, like you’re hiding something you’re ashamed of. And another thing, you came out of nowhere like you didn’t have anywhere else to go. And now you’re telling me that my boss, my friend I’ve known since I was a girl, is going to fire me. That’s strange.”
I looked down at her toe rings and said, “Well, if I show you what’s under my mask, would you trust me?” My hands tightened and I felt my pulse thumping through my palms.
“Ok,” Emerald said, glancing up. “I might trust you then.”
I closed my eyes and pulled my mask down and felt the nerves soak through my blood. I expected her to squirm, to laugh, to run away in shock or in horror. I expected everything terrible from her, from my Emerald, but all she did was stare. One of her eyes went blank like I bored her with a dull joke and the other eye drifted down to the side. I stood back and trembled and didn’t know what to say. But then the silence started to bother me after a moment of her just staring, and I said, “I’m one silly looking son of a bitch, aren’t I?”
“You’re not that special,” Emerald said. “I knew a guy once who had a penis growing out of his nose. You’re just…I don’t know, mediocre. I guess.”
Was she really turned off? I thought she’d be repulsed, disgusted, or at the very least, pitying. But it seemed she dug the boys with the real deformities, and to her, I ranked as low as gorilla boy or goat girl. At that moment I wished I had a tentacle growing out of my forehead so she could swoon. Out of all my horrible luck, the normal girls thought I was freakish and the freakish girls thought I was normal.
“Well,” I said. “Wanna walk back?” I avoided her face to hide my shame.
“Look,” she said. “You don’t have to get all bothered and everything. I think your noses are cute but I expected something a little more. You understand, don’t you?”
“You don’t have to tell me,” I said, kicking the dirt.
“I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“It’s alright,” I said. “I guess I’m not your type…I don’t belong anywhere, do I?”
“Not your type? Did you think, you and I were—oh, dear. You’re too young for me.”
“That’s not true,” I said, grabbing her hand and then letting go. “What are you, 30?”
“Well, you think you’re so special, don’t you?” I said, flushing. “I might be young but I’m not an idiot. Frankly you’d be lucky to be with a guy like me. I think you’re just afraid.”
“Afraid?” She smiled. “What am I scared of?”
“Love, true love.”
Emerald chuckled as I stood there in heated silence. “When you get to be my age, you’ll find out true love doesn’t exist. That’s just something people tell each other so they don’t feel so alone.”
“Do you really believe that?”
She sighed. “Yeah, I do. I used to think I’d be with the perfect man if I really wanted it, but I found out most men are children, and all the other ones are assholes.”
“Which one am I, a child or an asshole?”
“Right now you’re a child. It will take a few years for you to become an asshole.”
“Let me know. I’ll mark my calendar.”
She touched my shoulder. “Look, did I bother you? I didn’t mean to. It’s just. Come on, what did you expect? We only just met tonight.”
“So you mean,” I said, feeling the words tumble inside me. “You didn’t feel anything when you saw me?”
“I don’t know, maybe.”
“Maybe’s a good place to be in.”
She sighed and then shook her head. “Don’t you wanna be with a girl your own age?”
“If I did, then I wouldn’t be with you.”
“Oh, boy,” she said, putting her hand on her face. “You’re too much. You know that?”
As the week ended, all of the carnies packed up their red boxes, and stitched away their posters of busty women in paper cases, and detached their tilt-a-whirls and bumper cars into rusted screws and bolts, and then smelled the finest pines of Fogfield one last time, before driving on down the road.
I bunked inside a red battered trailer and saw the highways passing behind into a pink dawn. And each town we traveled to all looked the same, with plump-bellied hick dads, blue-haired wives, and five wild-brained children, who all pointed at my noses and said, “Look momma, look momma, take a picture with me and the strange boy.”
And yes, I tried to be around Emerald as much as I could between shows, walking with her every night past the lights, and riding with her above the crowds in a squeaking Ferris wheel. She laughed, and I tingled with joy, and held her soft hand, and made her feel real good, but she still talked to me from a distant place inside herself, from mist between the pines.
And you might be wondering, what ever happened to my mom. I called her up, saying I’m working at a real job now and I won’t be back anytime soon. She said I’m throwing all my dreams down the gutter and I told her I’m a grown man now. And she said, your father said the same thing, too. And I said, no, Ma, I’m nothing like my dad. And she said he left me, he left me and he never told me why. And then I felt real bad and said I’m sorry. And she told me to call her back but I never did.
Then one night after a show, I strolled with Emerald past the rides and the gambling wheels, chattering about how gorilla boy fell into a pile of bananas, when he grunted, trying to seem so tough to the customers.
But as we walked together like we did on so many nights before, I felt uneasy tension behind everything I said, and she could sense it too, by how she glanced at me with an uncomfortable smile. Then I stopped walking, feeling the nerves creep under my skin, and knew what it was, what it had always been. I wanted to be smooth or gentlemanly, explaining to her the truth of my affection, but since I was born without those traits, I blurted out, “Why don’t you like me?”
She stared at me for a long moment and then said, “I thought we’ve already gone over this Gerry. You’re just too young for me.”
“But genuine love never stopped Romeo and Juliet!”
She stared at me evenly. “They both died in the end.”
“They died for love.”
“Dead is dead.”
“Ok then. What about Aphrodite and Adonis?”
She snickered. “So you’re Adonis, I assume?”
“Why do you have to make everything a joke?” I scrunched up my face, glaring at her. “I’m serious, you know.”
She sighed. “Why can’t we just be friends? Is that so wrong?”
“Yes,” I said. “It’s terribly, horribly wrong. In fact, it might just be the wrongest, most wrong thing I’ve ever heard in the history of things that aren’t right. Just because you don’t believe in love, doesn’t mean you have to squash my dreams. You see, I’m not some hormonal teenager. I have actual feelings. Don’t you have feelings? Don’t you understand that two people could be so…”
And then she leaned forward and kissed me, warmly, smoothly, soaking my lips with a glistening of tangerines. I tilted my head to the side, brushing her skin with my flushed noses. When she stopped and the distance spread between us, I gazed at her for a long moment, and felt the warmth rising in my cheeks. “What was that for?” I asked.
“I thought that’s what you wanted,” she said, staring at me with a smirk on her face.
“I, well, I don’t know now.” I touched my elbow, looking down. “Maybe I don’t.”
Emerald paused and then said, holding my hand, “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Yeah,” I said, not understanding the question. “Yeah, I think I am.”
She nodded as if she knew some secret that could never be spoken, some underlying truth to all the madness of my desire, and all the pain and trouble of her own. She reached out, squeezing my hand tighter, and we both walked into the blinding florescent lights without speaking another word that night.
Did I really love this girl? Were my desires true or was it just the pining of a deluded adolescent? I thought about that night a lot, rolling around in my cot before sleeping, feeling the sweat of that kiss linger on my lips. And still I don’t have an answer.
I felt weird when Emerald kissed me, disembodied like the ideal of her love was more real than the love itself. There must be something wrong with me, something seriously wrong.
I’m starting to think about home more, wondering about the town called Fogfield. Over there, I still know the neighbors and the neighbors' neighbors, living inside their donut shaped neighborhood, wedged in between monotony. But where I live now, I can only exist as a population of one.
I feel lost inside the storybook of my life, as a freak among a freak family, waiting to turn to the next chapter, waiting to tear off the last page and find an unmarked point in the margins, where things could really get weird, where things could blossom or burn.
And I hope, I truly hope, that there’ll be a happy ending for me and the pages won’t blur in confusion, that maybe one day when I drive on down the far-off highway, I’ll finally find a place where my paths join, where I can settle in a place called home. But I might just be ambitious. I might just be a three-nosed buffoon.
Bremer Acosta graduated from Stevenson University with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Creative Writing and Publishing at the University of Baltimore. Bremer has published magazine articles in Limerence, news articles in The Villager, and fiction in The Beacon, Spectrum, Welter, and Prose Works.
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