November 13, 2009
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Marcia wanted to live in the ocean. It was the one place where she felt at home. She could dive deep, deep into the waves and then lay in the sun for hours, sucking on strands of her hair to taste the salt.
The moon would rise high and she would bend over her dusty violin and play scratchy, sweet tunes that made her blood feel sluggish in her veins. In the morning, she would wander around downtown, where people were emerging to open shops and vendors. A half-blind woman would sit under the same palm tree everyday, selling santa anas and birds of paradise and hibiscus. Marcia liked her, with her raspy voice and gnarled fingers that were adorned with rings of turquoise.
Women with long, sleek legs floated around in metallic stillettos, albino pythons draped over their shoulders. Boys with chopped hair and frayed shorts beat drums and spat fire from their mouths. Every now and then, a band of men with shaved heads and grungy voices would play on the beach, surrounded by Kabuki dancers. Marcia would spend her days taking it all in, drinking her fills of odd sights.
The girls with steel boots and neon hair, old men playing checkers by the boardwalk, women painted head-to-toe in designs like zebra print or cheetah fur. They all were unique in their own ways, and Marcia couldn't help but feel very small and ordinary living in a place like she did.
Her dream was to be a mermaid.
Her legs that were not eight miles long would grow into a tail, each scale translucent. Her nails would be shells of the oddest colors, brackish green and burnt orange and violent violet purple.
She would make friends with the dolphins, friends she could never make on land, and they would never call her a freak. They would let her swim along side them and touch their thick flesh, look into their intelligent, liquid eyes.
Marcia would be able to cry pearls and taste the sea within her mouth everyday and never, ever be lonely. But even the most dreamy of dreamers must open their eyes, and when Marcia does, she is filled with a sudden hollowness.
Everyone has packed their things away for the day. The fabulous freaks and glamourous girls and menacing men are gone.
She is alone on the beach with the sun setting fire to the horizon. The sand has cooled and her skinny legs are getting goosebumps. Marcia is alone and still her, so she buries herself within her sand castle and decides to hibernate for a while. Wishes and reality do not co-exist in her world, so she closes her star eyes and tries to feel the Earth revolve under her.

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