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The Days photo

In Puerto Vallarta, the catcalls begin with “I speak English” and it’s nice there are these logistics to work through before the crude stuff. 

Everything in the world exists in relation to my body. Traveling: feeling new things against my body. The map-like bruise on my thigh and more. No, I didn’t fall; I just went somewhere else. 

Five friends and I stay in one cliff-side house.

I wake in the night in a different city to the congealed body of my shadow close my eyes and walk into bed through the dark not opening them again until morning where there are no shadows, just myself, get up and only wish for shadows again, it goes on. The sun that comes through the window in the shower is my favorite sun. I never see it reflected in a mirror. We speak directly to each other, no middle man. The honesty between us necessitates me not seeing myself at all.

It’s three in the afternoon; I try rolling a joint and succeed. These kinds of things don’t have to be pretty. A and I are thirty minutes into looking over the edge of the pool for hours. We see no one but hear all of them. The ocean bookends our view. I think less about sunscreen than I do God. “These might be The Days,” I say. She says nothing. I don’t need her to. 
"Did you go to the restaurant where we got engaged?" Mom texts two days in. No. Unbearable to think of walking into history. (Do you walk into or onto history?). It would not be casual or vacation-like, razing my fantasy of that place. Or remembering my parents were here first. The Uber driver is asking for a big tip, my friend translates, as his mid-size sedan scales the cobblestone. Back at the house, that vertical mansion, I share a bed with my friend. I still have three more years of thinking, “My mom was probably doing this at my age.” 

There is no unspoken tension about the shower we share, my friend and I. Neither of us has used up a bottle of anything and left it there for the other to silently throw away. The Dove body wash on the windowsill always has body wash. The travel size Herbal Essences is endless. The drain collects my hair like a mother.

I never thought this far into my life. I can no longer see ahead of me; enter infinity pools, rather, infinity pool– the one we screamed in that last night, naked, after dancing for hours in places where no one helped us have fun. We had to make it on our own. 

“Do your moms have friends? Like, ones they still see?” someone asks at dinner. The long table set for seven is candlelit and stuck in the sand before the black ocean. There are different answers, none of them “Yes”. We laugh anyway.

Was this the beginning or ending of a movie? It wasn’t the middle. It wasn’t a movie. We made it home on a three-hour flight, during which I thought, “I really like turbulence.” A plane going down would be distressingly smooth, so fast and sleek it would almost feel still. 




image: Alyson Zetta Williams