Seaside fantasies of crushed velvet waves, cubed granular salt, and inky blue depths of silk, seude, and panda fur flood my mind. Tepid palm leaves trap equatorial steam and cause warm rain to peel the yellow wallpaper in my bedroom mind.
I pick up the phone, covered in pink, fluffy, faux fur. I call my bestfriend, Niobe, and we talk for hours about the beach house we’re going to build when we run away together.
We’ve got everything planned. I can see it:
Seashells and barnacles tup with pure gold doorknocker earrings in our jewelry boxes; we stay up late listening to the ocean moan to god while we watch lascivious red light specials and dream about skinny dipping.
In the afternoon on the next day, our golden retriever jaunts giddily as we chase it with a stick, laughing like lunatics, playing reverse fetch. Down in the baked, luminous sand we nuzzle our dog, Kizzie, and eat whatever we want–and I mean whatever we want.
I hold Niobe’s hand, and wipe mustard from the corners of her crumby mouth, licking my fingertip sensually afterwards. I’ve seen a lesbian couple do this in an obscure movie.
On misty morning walks, we’re mistaken for lifetime partners and lovers as we sweep the gilded sandman from each other’s canthi.
Together, we own exactly one bike that we ride every Thursday to the local grocers. The bike is canary yellow with a glossy finish, a large, brown wicker basket, and a shiny bell. Its a Vintage make with huge wheels and ribbons on the handlebars.
(I name our bike Rita, after the Italian ice place where I met Niobe as a gap toothed, big headed kid. She had dimples and a satiny kiddie perm that produced sumptuous pigtails to past her shoulders. She bought me ice cream and we’ve been inseparable since.)
Niobe rides on the handlebars, her full bottom making a soft, inverted heart in her distressed blue jeans. I steer badly, inciting her mock ire.
On a straight stretch of road, I stop steering , but keep peddling. I cinch my arms around her doughy waist, my nose pressed to her sweaty back, my fingers spread and preying for higher, softer ground; I search for her sweet fruit until I break her boughs; her leaves and scented, sap studded branches raining down on me as we collapse into the grass; sunshine, bike, and all.
That’s when I realize that we are not friends.
Because, ‘scuse me as I get blunt: sexual peaches ain’t for no apple-pickin’ friends; just like cobbler ain’t for bad kids, nor easter egg hunts after church in the hot sun. No. You been the devil’s help in Sunday service all morn. Your mama done sweated her lortdang press out and aint waiting in nobody’s hot ass sun for your bad ass to find a sulfur smellin’ egg in a bush.
So no, I don’t get to squeeze on Niobe’s pleasurable bubblegum bubble curves, Niobe tells me. She says no as she tenderly leads my rough, slim hands to all of the places I am absolutely under no circumstances to touch. She says she is a Missourian who believes in showing and not telling.
It is here, that we have our FRIED GREEN TOMATOES rubicon moment: my fingers graze her chocolate dipped milk mounds, part her pillowy legs, bathe in sacred coves of pink salt stone in the quiet grass. The road is empty and we foment all alone like Mentos in a glass of cherry Coke.
We’ve got it all planned out, or at least I do.