Going on vacation makes me feel like my organs have crawled out of my body and my skin is tightening around what’s left. I spent most of last week in my bedroom with the lights off. My brother would periodically look in and be all, “You’re depressing me.” I wouldn’t react.
We were on a family trip to Georgia. I walked on the beach with my dad one night and felt spiritual communion with a ghost crab. We are both nocturnal, pale, and unpleasant. Hello little weirdie, I thought to the crab. It didn’t react.
The final night we were there, my brother called me while riding his bike. “Do you want to trespass?” he asked. Three minutes later I was on my dad’s bike. We rode down a thin path, Davis leading the way with a flashlight, me pedaling behind, trying to see the outlines of the path and the trees. Every so often I would brush against bushes or find myself having veered into the grass. If it were any darker out I would have felt I was pedaling in place. After a while, I saw a light up ahead. The path had taken us to a road that was enclosed by a ribcage-like canopy of trees. There was more light there, and I could make out dead possum and clumps of grass that lay limp and mute on the road. Everything else was screaming: frogs and my breath and the wind if I turned my head to the side.
We turned off the road into a driveway, parked our bikes facing the road, and walked around a concrete wall and up to the incomplete mansion. There was a patio with an infinity pool, and beyond that a black marsh. We got in the pool and talked about how we wished someone else was there with us. I held my brother while he floated. I walked him around in circles until I was hypnotized. I asked him to do the same for me so I could look at the stars, and he said I sound like a bad short story. He sounded like a TV show that acts self-aware but actually has no idea what it is—even though he is nothing like that.
The next day I listened to a flight attendant try to be clever with her safety speech. When I got home, it was like nothing happened. ♦