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Last Soggy Page
I have known loneliness of the deepest and most cutting kind.
I have traced the names of my loved ones in the sand with a stick when I tired of writing S.O.S. in twelve foot tall letters of rock and driftwood.
I have stared up at an unfamiliar night sky and drawn my own constellations with my fingers.
I have sat in a castle of my own making, filled with a thousand things of my own making, and seen instead before my eyes a freshman’s blotchy flower diagram, a sophomore’s scribbled electron-dot configuration.
I have renamed myself Louisa Lonely Drendalin.
I have curled up under my leaking roof in the middle of a hurricane and prayed as fiercely as I could to God, Allah, Krishna, whoever might be listening, begging to live another night, another hour, another heartbeat.
I have sat in the blistering sun next to a dry ditch and talked to my husband, my husband whose corpse has long ago been torn apart in the depths of this accursed, briny sea. “Maybe we should have tried the Bahamas, after all,” I’ve said. “The Bermuda Triangle seems a little… lonely.”
I have stared and stared at the rusted blade of the Swiss knife, imagining how it would feel, tearing through my throbbing, purple veins.
I have thought of my old life – my “real life”, I call it – and closed my eyes and let the memories give me wings. I absorb the colors.
Hot pink for my fingernails at my senior prom, the night I met Wyatt Jackson Drendalin.
Ivory for the wedding dress my mother, then I, had worn.
Indigo for the favorite poster I hung in my high school science classroom in a windswept Texas town.
Powder blue, for the baby blanket I had stitched and then shoved in a closet somewhere after I came home from the hospital, tearful and miserably un-pregnant.
Brushed silver for Wyatt’s little plane, the burning, twisted sheet of metal that had dragged him down into the clamoring waters like a shroud.
If this goes anywhere, this message scrawled on the last soggy page of my address book, this is what you need to know to find me. I have been dead on this rocky cay for two summers and three winters. I don’t know the flight number. I don’t know the coordinates. I don’t know the date.
I know I will go home.
Louisa Lonely Drendalin