That June, we went to the desert for a girls' getaway. We were hardly girls. One of us was dying, Meredith had died; all of us had lost someone. It was a silent retreat. What was there to say? We were newly divorced and perennially single, we were stuck in marriages and dating online and pregnant with a – surprise! – third kid. For days we feasted on goji berries and posed as trees and paid gobs of money for strangers to touch us. For every ailment there was an oil. Remember the time we cut school and hitched down the shore for what’s his name? Nobody said. Our skin cracked in the sauna and shriveled in group baths, but before leaving, we swaddled ourselves like babies in robes and sampled high-end products to take home, greasing our hands in jasmine and lavender and sandalwood, holding out fingers for each other to smell.
Illustration by Colleen Maynard
Colleen Maynard has appeared in matchbook, NANO Fiction, and recently exhibited in the 2016 Drawing Biennial at the Appleton Museum of Art. Maynard graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and trained at Illinois Natural History Survey in Botanical Illustration. She writes and draws at www.colleenmaynard.com.
Sara Lippmann's debut collection, Doll Palace (Dock Street Press) was long-listed for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She was the recipient of an artist’s fellowship in fiction from New York Foundation for the Arts and her work has appeared in Slice Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, Front Porch, Midnight Breakfast, Wigleaf and elsewhere. She teaches with Ditmas Writing Workshops. @saralippmann