Reality of Summer

Licking your face is a puppy called ocean. Behind you,  volleyballs pass between friends and family. Sand molds around your soles like soft, viscous clay. Famous, familiar buildings, those of which you’ve only experienced in pictures, swirl around you in a sparkling haze. Then, all at once, the situation mixes into a thick, syrupy reduction.

And then you wake up.

It’s eleven a.m. You must have accidentally slept in again. The richness of your dreams is gone, and now you just feel heavy. Your dog, still asleep, lays by your feet. Your phone, though, is awake — Netflix is open, Stranger Things. You must have finished the rest of it last night, though you remember falling asleep somewhere in the middle of the second episode.

Your bones are like bricks, but somehow you roll your mud body over. You land on your floor. A pair of fresh pajamas slither out of the pile of clothes on your rug and swallows you whole. You check instagram: Europe, Malaysia, and a million beaches — the settings in your fantasies.

Cracked, day old makeup wobbles in your bathroom mirror. You didn’t bother to wash your face last night. You want food, yet you’re not hungry. Your refrigerator stares at you, judgingly. Strawberries, Oxnard strawberries. Mom must have bought some earlier today. You have a handful. Cooking is too much of a bother.

As is everyday, you end up back in your room. Your dog is still asleep, so you lay down besides him. His small body is stretched out, and, every few seconds or so, he twitches — he’s dreaming, a wonderful dream. It must be honey. So much better than Summer’s reality.

The expectations we set for ourselves are physical and they are flies. As maggots, they crawl into our ears to feed on our memories, ideology, and sense of logic. When they’ve had their fill and left caverns in our heads, they burst into adults. Eventually the wounds will heal and be fed upon again and again.

The fantasy of the future is less a trap and more an inevitable cycle of reincarnation. But melodrama and literature can’t ascend us. Our only Nirvana is blooming pessimism with roots in scars.

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