Please never wake me up from this hypnotic fantasy that won't stop playing through my head. I am hopelessly enraptured in her. A whiff of her wild smokey sent like burning driftwood and breezy pine trees, it's free and wild just like her. Im slowly loosing my mind completely in love with my vivid day dreams of midnight adventures miles high up in the mountains, endless salty nights looking at a million stars by the seaside.Im lost in her delusion of flowing hair like the wind and the absurd notion that she too dreams of places beyond this town.
Day after day this day this never ending fantasy won't drift away always replaying again and again in my mind. I close my eyes and breath in the fresh Arizona air, out here on my old wooden porch staring out at an endless desert and a starry sky I am overwhelmed with a sensation that almost feels like freedom. I know that I can only be truly free when I am with her, exploring the world. I feel myself slowly drifting away to that euphoric world void of space and time where I get to live my wildest fantasies. It will start out like usual, I’ll be sitting in Mr. Johnson's science class as he tries to explain why the sun is going to die someday, but I’ll be too busy trying not to suffocate in this jail cell. It happened about three years ago, the day I stopped being able to breath in a room full of people. Trying to pretend that these old tattered walls are closing in on me and that I don't want to die. That's when she would turn around and look at me, wild blue eyes filled with a million burning ships, sparkling with an otherworldly confidence. At that moment my dull world will be shattered into a billion tiny little pieces. Her strawberry blond hair defiantly pulled back in a red bandana giving you the impression she's ready to conquer the world. “Why are you such a freak!”, Carlos would yell and all the hyenas will begin to snicker. I would pull my hood over my head and try to hide from the storm, but this was one of those storms that you couldn't escape from. I would feel like screaming, but not because the comments bothered me, rather I wouldn't be able to understand why my heartrate always quickens and my palms are always sweaty. Why when I try to speak my voice is shaky and weak. “Weirdo, what's wrong with you”, Sarah would say. I wish I knew.
“How come she never talks?”
“Talk to us you worthless trash!”
At that moment everything will become a blur because I would be to busy peering into those blue eyes, serene and understanding like those gold desert sunsets that you could just drift of into. “Hey shut up Carlos”, she would yell casting the entire universe into silence. “Thanks”, I would say. “No Problem”, she would beam and I would stare into her face and get the abrupt and intense feeling that she can see past worlds.
I would peer over at her open sketch book like I have everyday this year mesmerized by intricate drawings of faraway places and worldly expeditions. “Hey do you want to get out of here”, she would burst an unexpected grin spreading across her face. “Sure”, I would manage to say though my heart would be leaping out of my chest. I would feel the exhilaration of riding the tallest rollercoaster in Arizona, jumping off a freight train, or finally escaping this dull suffocating identity and feeling like someone for the first time. She would say “come on” and we would walk out of that dreaded place I’ve been drowning in for years like fierce soldiers abandoning a building. A building that has been burning for far too long and was finally about to erupt in a fiery explosion and be obliterated from existence forever. We would turn around as Mr. Johnson would scream at us to come back and all the kids that had made me hate myself for years would be shocked that I would ever be able to escape them. Something inside me would want to just sit back down at least I’m safe hidden here, the way things were, when no one understood the weird girl who never talked. The girl that nobody could see. I wouldn't feel ready to become someone, but then I would look into those intricate powerful eyes, the only ones that are able to see me, and I would realize that stories change. I would realize that this is my story and all those classmates smirking up at me, some disgusted by my audacity, have no place in my story. So I say forget you to Mr. Johnson and my old story and watch the building blow up on last time in a fiery explosion.
“Carter”, and that would be my mom walking me out of my trance. Now you see that's just the beginning of our absurd fantastical adventure together, the rest can come later. I open the screen door to our two room portable home, there are about a million fans scattered around the room. My mom is sprawled out on the checkered floor, her brown hair tied back, her skin is wrinkled and leathery, she's scratching her lotto ticket. “Wash the dishes”, she says not looking up, her stomach sticks out of her work uniform, she sticks a cigarette between her withered fingers. “How was school?” she asks. See, she does this thing where she pretends to care but when I actually have a problem she just looks at me with those judgy beety eyes like I’m the kid she never wished she had. “Good”, I say. Besides the fact that as each day passes I’m feeling more and more inclined to jump of the roof of the cafeteria. I smile thinking of blackness maybe it's the closest thing I will ever have to freedom. The only thing keeping me here is my day dreams. I wonder if dead people can day dream. I imagine they can't. I guess the upside to being alive is that there is still a tiny chance that your daydream can come true, even if it seems impossible. “Good”, replies my mother releasing a puff of smoke.
Waves of cold desert night air blow against my face, as I lay wide awake staring at the twinkling constellations. I hug my knitted blanket and contemplate the crickets and hyenas for a while. How lucky they are to be free to explore the whole dessert. Then my thoughts slowly drift back to her and her sparkling blue eyes. It's like she was born a star child and drifted down to this lowly desert town during one especially magnificent sunset. I know own thing for sure, that girl, that star child doesn't belong here.
Suddenly I am brought back to my fantasy. We would just have walked out the door of our rundown high school into the one hundred degrees Arizona heat and would be walking towards the desolate road. I would smile back at my old torture chamber surrounded in melancholy cactuses and giant lifeless mountains. “We will never see this place again” I would say to her, wondering why it was suddenly so easy to speak again. Her dirty blond hair would now be wild and free, the red bandana around her sweaty forehead, rosy cheeks, and sweet pink lips. “I love your eyes”, I would say. “They remind me of the sea”. Then she would smile and stare of into the distance as if she believed she could fly right into it.
“So where to now”, I would ask admiring her majestic features in the sunlight. “What about Paris?”, she would blurt. “I would love paris”, I would say awed by her otherworldly faith that we will somehow be able to make it even just out of our town. “Yes Yes, we will go to paris, then egypt, rome, berlin, tokyo, oh and china and wherever else you want to go along the way”, she would say. “Okay”, I would whisper feeling like someone else for the first time in my life. Slowly my fantasy starts to become blurry as I drift off to sleep.
I wonder if the sun ever gets tired of sending his heavenly beams all the way from the obscure blackness of outer space, day after day, just so us mere mortals can catch a glimpse of his glory. It’s like how everyday I sit right here on this dilapidated wooden bench trying to shield myself from the sun, but I can’t because it is just so so incredibly bright. Everyday far from the crooning screams and echoing laughter, I sit here in my mini barren desert behind the cafeteria where lost tumbleweeds roam and radioactive sunlight sizzles my skin. Day in and day out, every lunch for three years an never ending hourglass of white desert sand counting down the days until I will be free, a million and one more shimmering granulets to go. A screeching bell rattles my ears,as the doors burst open and I am lost in a sea of scurrying students. What if I never escape? Then I see her there, standing out in a sea of blurry people i can't move ,i can't breathe,i can't stand one more instant not talking to her, not looking into those vast blue eyes like never ending seas that carry you far away in your wildest most euphoric dreams. My heart is beating so fast and i'm brought back to those wistful nights, when I can't sleep or even be awake so i would fly to faraway places with a shaky gust of night wind.They talk about these once in a lifetime chances and seeing her standing there in the glorious dessert day, Golden rays of sunlight beam down from the heavens illuminating her cheeks. “Hey Evalyn”, a yelp escapes my throat. She doesn't hear me,she's disappearing into the crowd of people. Evalyn, I yell again this time my voice shakes. I try one last time and feel my voice is rising like one of those magnificent Arizona storms heaving and quivering, shaking all the cactuses and houses in its wake. This time I know the whole universe heard me. “Hey Carter”, she suddenly twirls around and finally faces me with those fiery crimson cheeks, her pink lips twisted into a friendly smile and her hair cascading down her shoulders like a golden meteor shower on a moonless night. “Could you maybe show me your sketch book sometime” I hear myself say .“Yeah of course”, she beams examining me with a peculiar smile. “You know maybe it was my imagination, but i though I could've seen you watching me draw in it sometimes”, she inquires, her eyes gleaming into mine with what could've been a hint of mockery if it weren't for her sincere expression of curiosity. I feel myself freeze for a moment. “It's not your imagination” I admit. “I know Mr. Johnson's class can be pretty boring”, she jokes. “No it's not that, your drawings they're not like anything i've seen before” I quiver. “What do you mean?”, she asks now staring intensely into me, the teasing glimmer in her starry blue eyes has instantly faded. All the students have gone inside but we just stand here listening to a deep silence and electrifying hum of the arizona wind.“I mean it's just you know how I don't fit in here. You know how it's been for me stuck in this horrible town when I look at your drawings I can escape, go somewhere else. It's the only time in my life when I can imagine i'm someone else”, I gasp breathlessly. “I know Carter”, she whispers softly. “ People don't understand you because you don't belong here, you belong somewhere far far away from here”. She looks at me with a melancholy smile and hands me the tattered yellow notebook. “Here it's yours” she says.” I can't take this” I say mesmerized. “No really, keep it, todays my last day here anyways it can be your memory of me, my family is moving to california”, she says. “Oh”, I say as my heart collapses in my chest. “Goodbye Carter”, she says hugging me. “Goodbye Evelyn”, I say relishing in her celestial warmth . I am lost in a delusional daze as I watch her figure drift away towards the afternoon sun.“Remember Carter nobody should try and belong in a town where no one sees them”, she turns around and calls back slight shadows dancing across her face. In that moment, I know she is not going to california. Instead she's going to float away in a flying saucer far beyond these desolate mountains, higher and higher until she reaches the stars.