By Alice Rosenberg
A short story I wrote about one of my favorite memories from summer that blurred into my favorite dreams.
I once dreamed that the sky was the same pink as our strawberry Danimals, and that the sand in our hair mocked our sun-kissed freckles. We had been sent to the beach to look for Maia’s lost flip flop, her glass slipper that had been swept away by the sea last night, stolen from her grasp even under the moon’s careful gaze.
I dreamed that we stopped searching once Sonja started throwing sand, our mission forgotten in peals of laughter and shrieks of girlhood. The roof above the benches was the only source of safety, a castle tower protecting us from the battle below, and we raced against the end of summer, pushing our scraped knees and boardwalk-bitten feet to climb higher, higher, higher. The groceries we had bought an hour earlier were our golden medals, and we rubbed the frozen drinks on our scorching foreheads, our tired, sunburnt shoulders.
I dreamed that we were supposed to save the cheese for later, for our parents’ midnight-beachwalk-dinner-party-extravaganza, but the round, gleaming tinfoil spheres were plums in the icebox, and the rumbling of our stomachs were far too deafening to ignore. I dreamed that we stayed out long past sunset, the flip flops never found.
I went to one of the Saturday workshops back in March called “Memory As Time Travel.” One of the prompts was to write a story about a dream, which I somehow misinterpreted as “memory”. Once I realized my mistake, I edited the story to fit the prompt. The story’s bones are rooted in my memories of summer with my best friends on Fire Island. I wanted to incorporate New York City into the multimedia component since it’s the only other place I love as much as I do Fire Island. While I was recording, I sat next to my open window, letting the noise of the city reach my phone speaker in addition to my voice reading the story. To me, this is what dreams sound like; loud, messy, confusing, and yet somehow in extremely clear and detailed worlds.
Alice Rosenberg is a 14-year-old writer who keeps track of all of her ideas in one of her many, many notebooks. She loves rainy days, poetry collections and forget-me-nots. Her bedroom walls are filled with magazine cutouts and other paraphernalia she has collected over the years. Her favorite word is "opia," which is the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.