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Ten Exotic Vacation Spots You’d Never Think to Visit

Kathryn Petruccelli

Stopped short outside the thrift store, I stared at the blue ruffled dress in the window. From my right index finger a bag of stretched out sweaters and forgotten toys hung suspended. It wasn’t that I wanted the dress, it was what it jarred loose in my memory: possibility, the portal to something new. I dropped my castaways in a wheeled bin marked “Household Goods” and entered. The smell of other people’s attics filled my nose: piles of board games and souffle pans, Christmas wreaths, their plastic berries held on with too much glue. The store was organized in small islands, an archipelago of junk, each cluster its own tiny hamlet waving price tag flags. A hillside of pocketbooks flattened in disuse faced a lake of small appliances—the rivalry an unsure and precarious thing. By the time I reached the coastline of sofas along the back wall, I was convinced I’d made a mistake coming in. I plunked down empty-handed on a brown velour number next to a stuffed pillow sporting eyes and a hat. COUCH POTATO it proclaimed in silkscreened letters across its middle. I padded past the books toward the exit, resigned, until a hardcover at the end of the aisle caught my eye. I carried it gingerly to the register. Send me a postcard! the cashier called to my back as I shuffled out past the blue dress, which rustled in the wind of the door, like the lapping of ocean waves.

Kathryn Petruccelli holds an MA in teaching English language learners and harbors

obsessions over place, words, and the ocean. Her work has appeared in the The Southern Review, Los Angeles Review, Sweet Lit, and others. Kathryn teaches workshops for adults and teens.

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