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Coconut Dream

By Cassiopeia Fletcher

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Modern Train Yard

It would be so easy to live the transient life; to hop a train and travel coast to coast, if not in style or comfort then at least in economy. I could make money as a juggler or street singer with an open guitar case and a Stetson. I could wear ratty sneakers with holes in the soles because those are the most comfortable and jeans so worn the denim is distressed by time and not machines.

It would be cold sometimes, those box cars are freezers in the winter, so I would need to find someplace warm in the long months; maybe sleep in a shed on a beach in Key West. I’d subsist on coconut milk and what fish I could catch with my bare hands. People would walk by my ratty shed and take one look at my holey shoes, distressed jeans, and unbrushed hair and think, “Poor thing,” and I’ll look back at them in their designer suits and leather loafers with slicked back hair and tattoo-less skin and think, “Poor things.”

In the summer, I would travel to Colorado and Canada to enjoy the mountains without the cold, and as we passed through Yellowstone, I’d open the side of my cattle car and howl at the wolves until they howled back. It would be just me and the tracks and the sky as I jot down my thoughts in a water-stained journal that someday—someday—would be worth millions while my stomach reminds me I haven’t eaten in three days.

There aren’t many coconuts in the Rockies.

Each day I’d waste away just a little bit more; jumping ship to fill my aching belly with tree nuts and soft pine bark before sipping the dew from honeysuckle for desert. And my stomach would still hurt, but it would settle for another day, another ride, as I hop another train and travel far and wide; living the life others dreamed of but were never brave enough to try.

It would be so easy.

My phone rings—an alarm—and I stand. Teetering on the ledge of an old concrete shed at the edge of the train yard, I try to remember where I put my history paper on Germinal—in the blue folder or the green?—as I turn my back on the cattle train slowly pulling out of the yard. One car stands open on both sides, a blatant invitation, but I shrug on my backpack and climb down the rusty ladder quicker than I should so I won’t be late for class.

I’m allergic to coconuts anyway.

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About Cassiopeia Fletcher

I wrote my first book when I was six-years-old about a fat cat named Stephanie who wandered around the city looking for her family, and I never looked back. As a writer, my goal is to continually move forward, learning from my past self, as well as others, in an effort to become the best I can at my chosen craft. I’m blessed with a wonderful, loving family —Mom, Dad, six brothers, one sister, and five sisters-in-law—that has supported me every step of the way, even if they don’t always understand what I’m trying to do. And while I believe life is education, not everyone always agrees, so I’ve made pursuing a formal education a huge priority. Currently, I have an MFA in Creative Writing and am attending grad school for the second time pursuing an MA in Mass Communications. Eventually, I’ll get my Ph. D., but who knows if that will be before or after I settle into a job teaching Creative Writing to undergrads? Life is a mystery, and I’m happy to discover it all, one day at a time.

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