She dreamed she was in Azuca, Mexico, but there is no Azuca, Mexico. There is no
Azucar, Mexico, either, but there is Hotel Azucar in San Rafael, with twenty charming
bungalows filled with furniture made of driftwood.
Now she is in Sugar Land, Texas, putting off her hot shower because the ghosts are
yammering and it is her job, always, to quiet them. On the drive to the hotel she pointed
out the Sam Houston statue to her son. He'd seen it before. "Will the hotel walls be made
of sugar?" he asked.
Once she sent a tentative love letter to her favorite writer, told him she fantasized about
being with him in Guanajuato, sitting on a patio beneath stars, drinking tequila, sharing
secrets. He wrote back,"What happens in Dream Guanajuato stays in Dream
Another friend, another writer, asks her why she's so damn determined to fall in love with
writers who live hundreds if not thousands of miles away. "Writers are selfish assholes,
cowards, terrible lovers," he insists. Yes but her limbic brain is not a Christmas tree. She
cannot turn the damn thing off. Daddy was not a writer, the only book she ever saw him
read was the King James Bible, but he taught her how to get by on the bare minimum so
that feels familiar and comforting to her.
In the morning she will drink black coffee without sugar and figure out the route that will
almost take her to the ocean. She wonders if she will be close enough to smell the salt.
One night in college she was so lonely she drove a couple of hundred miles to the nearest
beach. There were lovers on the beach. She had to laugh at her ridiculous lack of luck.
Misti Rainwater-Lites is the author of Bullshit Rodeo. She resides in the complacent wilds of rural Texas.