Fiction · 12/12/2018

Hollywood & Highland

You’re a peach.

That’s what she said to me. That’s what she always says.

I hold a peach in my hand. The whole thing. Half. Skin. Guts. The wrinkled, rough pit. The parts people throw away.

Then there’s the perfect peach. Not too fragile, or tough. The perfect peach is velvet against my lips. Three shades bleeding into one another like watercolors. The saccharine scent of home.

I’m the kind of peach that caves when you press into it with your thumb. The kind kids refuse to eat and adults swap for another after one glance. The kind that hit the floor too many times.

I should have stopped her. Before she ascended the red carpet, leaving behind the street soiled with cigarette butts and half-eaten fruit where the flies lay their eggs. Leaving me, her scheduler, salad fetcher, dog sitter, Christmas present wrapper, to find my own way home.

I should have asked what she was like before she moved out to LA and too many seasons passed but never changed and all of us lost track of time. Maybe she would have asked about who I used to be. Or who I came here to be.

You’re a peach.

Genuine?

No —

A cliché from a black and white movie she saw at the Hollywood cemetery, wishing she could land a leading role.

+++

Samantha Paige Rosen earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Bylines include The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, The Week, Bustle, Hypertext Magazine, Beautiful Minds Magazine, The Passed Note, and My Body, My Words: A Collection of Bodies (Big Table Publishing, 2018). Work forthcoming in LUMINA Vol. XVIII. Say hi at samanthapaigerosen.com.