Sand castles crumble in brown sugar clumps on the shores of grape soda beaches. Sunkist sunset fizzles and casts its orange rays on carbonated, crystalline formations jutting out in rock formations. There is a lollipop lighthouse, with a candy cane center, shining its Christmas lights all over the water when that sun goes down. There is sticky between my toes and a sweet breeze that blows right through me. That sun has been baking all day. Molasses rivers run deep underneath the dune. Cotton Candy clouds would be too obvious, so we will leave them alone for now. It is nearly dark. And all this soda talk has triggered a memory of pizza days and sub days at Lacordaire and we would fill out a little form of what we wanted, that always included a choice of canned soda. I forget if caffeinated choices were on the menu, but back then they probably were. I would typically opt for grape soda because I never had that at home. And it was so good and sweet and delicious. Sometimes orange. But I have good memories about the grape. It’s an indulgence I never look for anymore, but next time I have the opportunity I’m going to get it. Just for the nostalgia. I feel like these lunch days were typically toward the end of the year when the work was light and the school was a-buzz with the promise of summer vacation. Back when school was a sweet breeze. And the jungle gym was brand new. And threats of “bench” or being banned from the jungle gym were very real things. And yes, I think that happened once. Though not to my grade. I don’t know if it’s related but I remember a girl named Caroline breaking her arm. And I remember her cast. And maybe the color of it was teal, or I projecting something else onto that memory. I’ll have to dig out an old yearbook because I remember next to nothing about her. Other than her glasses, thin light brown hair, round face, and otherwise vague appearance. Pictionary timeturners. Hourglass to minuteglass. Glass to plastic. What a strange invention. Somehow related to waterclocks and sundials. Bahamas on a Disney Cruise going off course. Sticky sand, ridiculous prices for beach chairs. Overcast cool but humid day. I am debating going to the beach this season. Missed mistakes marvelously made to appear on course with Life’s intention. Stockpiled sweetness. Stripes and colorbars and the national anthem and “Sleeping With The Television On”.