We are always plotting our runaway. When we have bad days and nothing goes like it should, we decide where we will go and how we will survive and we discuss all the good things that will happen to us when we get there.
Laguna Beach, the beautiful OC, on a Tuesday. I will nanny for the rich, wiping the noses of tiny pre-divas in Gucci onesies, in return for at least two bedrooms overlooking the sand and the waves and all the tanned people. She will nurse the new lips and boobs back to health and we will live off of the wages she makes keeping famous nose jobs secret and discreet. We will breathe in salty air and never get sick of it. We will shop while wearing dark sunglasses and floppy hats, and maybe someone will stop us and ask to have their picture taken next to two girls they’ve mistaken for reality television stars. We will say yes, of course.
Las Vegas on a Thursday. Sin City, baby. We will leave, my thumb out towards the highway, and her middle finger waving goodbye to this place that was always just a little too small. Old trucks and fast cars will carry us, state by state, and we will meet strangers and collect their stories. We will make it to Vegas with fifty bucks left between us. The very first night, we will put two Jacksons on a black seventeen, and we will win. We will play all night and become filthy rich, and stay drunk on tequila and the notion that we never have to go home.
Italy on a Saturday. Tuscany, to be exact. We don’t know how to get there, but we do know that we will wear only dresses in the summer and we will have a vineyard where we can pick our own grapes to eat, but mostly we will drink them. Italian men will say tu sei la ragazza dei miei sogni, and we will not know what they mean but we will swoon over the accent anyway. We will watch the sun set over a field of sunflowers from our small patio and we will laugh and say that we cannot imagine how we ever lived without the cheese and the music and da Vinci and this damned good olive oil.
Monday and we decide on New Orleans. They say it’s everyone’s favorite, America’s Most Interesting City, they say. Plus, we once had a friend who came from there and he said Nawlins and I decided a long time ago it was a place for me. We will go to Nawlins and eat crawdads and the locals will say it’s crayFISH, honey. We will drink and dance and shout, and we will lift our shirts for beads just once so we can say we did. I will touch a gator while she takes my picture, and I will lead her photo shoot as she tries on ten different masks in shades of purple and gold. Later, we will sit in rockers on a back porch overlooking a bayou and the smell of citronella and shrimp jambalaya will carry us away until bedtime.
We are always plotting our runaway.
She says let’s move to the Big Apple, and I say let’s try the Big Pineapple instead because we’re both too messy to share a tiny studio and I think we will look pretty with hibiscus in our hair.
I say let’s go to Tennessee and live in the woods. We can float down rivers on inner tubes and catch our own meals. She reminds me that I can’t even kill a spider, nor have I ever liked the taste of fish, and she’s not much of a swimmer, anyway. Maybe Texas, she says. They have rivers, probably, and I hear everything is bigger there.
We are always plotting our runaway. Two girls from North Carolina, and we may never really leave because there are grandparents to care for and newborns to hold and friends who will never wear out their welcome in our lives. Still, we plot our runaway. A back up plan. Just in case.