Somewhere in the outer reaches of the universe, I am lost, physically here but not actually here. Listlessly floating about, my soul drifts without even its shadow as a companion. In my universe exists a River of Dreams. Abandoned immaterialized dreams of all those on Earth who’ve given up on them. I don’t speculate why. They belong here, among the stars; and the feeble souls from which they originate are where they belong, on Earth. At the mouth of the river is an infinitely vast collection of cosmic bodies: planets, nebulae, ghosts, stars, and dust strewn about piercing the emptiness. No celestial map can solve my mystery; I exist somewhere in the in-between, a place of divide, half-Earth and half-somewhere else.
“Oh my God, Juan’s still a virgin you guys!”
I hear my name. We’re playing Never Have I Ever and I realize I forgot to put a finger down at “never have I ever had sex.” I’m at Luis’ birthday party. I don’t care much for Luis, but our moms are friends, so I guess we’re connected. Laughter explodes in the room as I’m brought exasperatingly downward like a derailed train zooming into a station.
I sheepishly put my finger down, spoiling the group’s fun. A kingfisher picks away at an Acerola Cherry lying atop a branch just outside the window. I steal glances in my peripheral vision, watching as it navigates thin branches ripe with thorns. Impressed with its ease of movement, I observe its feathery tail bob upwards as it moves, twinkling alongside the sunlight.