Dear Beevis,

The other night I dreamt you were still alive. You and I were in a fairy-tale. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I’m finally starting college in a new town (Portland, Maine is just as lame as it sounds), or maybe it’s all those M&M’s I inhaled earlier. Remember when we were little and you told me how if I ate too many, I’d see in super colors, like a Disney movie? And I devoured six bags because I wanted my teacup to sing like Mrs. Potts? Then I mounted your shoulders because you’d lied, which made you tickle my feet, which made me launch my stinky sock in your face, cause well, that’s clearly how you defeat a boy. Mom told us to get up (we were laughing/wrestling/being a giddy human knot on the floor) but Dad just shrugged and smiled, “Must be a twin thing…”

Or maybe it’s because you’re the only guy I’ve ever known to read fairy tales for fun. Perrault, The Brothers Grimm, Andrew Lang, Hans Christian Anderson, George MacDonald, Angela Carter—I mean, talk about a weirdo. Who follows candy cottage escapades and sports?

Just kidding. I love you, Beev. Anyways, we were in your #8 or #9 (I forget the exact ranking), Jack and the Beanstalk. In my dream. Though I’m pretty sure I was really Jackie, because I still had boobs. Anyway, I started pulling myself up that enormous, green stalk with the help of the dangling vines, you know, really wiggling myself up. Actually, I was cruising! Going up that greenery like a magical vegetable natural, if you must know. Up one level, then the next. Higher and higher. I was almost there. Finally, I pulled, one last great, terrible pull—the kind of pull where you don’t think you could have done it if you’d known about it. But because you didn’t know (and no, this is totally not a metaphor for life, or anything) you did it. You scaled that bad boy Beanstalk.

First came the stars. Then the castle. Then you. You were big and strange, like New York City, but with fingertips. You took a great, big, thudding, giant-step toward me, but I didn’t move. I just stared. I’d never seen anything so amazing, so wild. Your shoulders were two endless slopes. Where your skull stopped, stars began. Then came the rumbling. I didn’t know what to do—it was getting louder and closer—but you leaned down and took off your Knicks cap and said, “Quick, lady—crawl into my hair. I’ll hide you.”

I hesitated for a second, to see if maybe if the rumbling had changed its mind and decided to become good rumbling or not-at-all rumbling, but then I heard it. No, definitely bad rumbling. Like the sound of other giants. I crawled into your hair. It was messy as usual, all cluttered with ideas and random junk. But it smelled nice. Like you. Like sugared nuts and sage candles and running, hooded, in October. Like New York City if someone ever tried to bottle it in a shampoo.

That night you set me up in an old upstairs bedroom in a turret in the castle for the night. The next morning, you made me an iced beanstalk latte and accompanied me to the top of the beanstalk to part ways. You said it’d probably be a good idea for me to cut down the beanstalk. So, you know, the other giants don’t go down there. I looked in the direction we’d last heard the rumbling. Then at the beanstalk. Then at you, standing where it wouldn’t reach anymore. Yeah, I said. And I started climbing down the beanstalk. I don’t think I really meant to cut it though.




The next night I dreamt we were in The Snow Queen (your number two). You were Kay and I was Gerda and I was looking for you like she does, after you got the ice splinter in your eye and the Snow Queen came and took you away to her castle. I was looking for you through all that snow and the reindeer and dark bandit girls somewhere near off, but then at one point when I was sitting at my fire, I looked over it and saw you, drinking Coke in a restaurant with a group of people your age. They were theater kids, by the looks of it. I knew because of the way they laughed. All dorky and loud, like when they thought about the bodies they were stuck in, there were fireworks. They were probably from one of your classes at NYU. Or maybe they were your angel friends? They were dressed like heavenly hipsters, jeans and t-shirts all white.

I looked at you laughing with all your new super cool winged friends, and you just seemed so happy. I wanted to be that happy. You always have your phone, no matter where you go, so I called you in heaven. But it just went to voicemail. In the message, you sounded different—softer and icy almost, but also very chill. You said, “Morgan, they buried me. It’s time to have your own adventures.” Then, beep! I didn’t say anything. Instead, I hung up. I think I also hung up something somewhere else too, because then it was morning in my dream, but I wasn’t looking for you anymore.




Last night it was Hansel and Gretel (your all-time favorite: Witches! Candy! Twins!). You know all the variations, obviously. And I’d love to say that’s what happened. That would have been a pretty cool story. If, you know, we were terrified, but we didn’t give up, and together we defeated the evil witch and got away, dropping a trail of M&Ms into the damp green earth like articles of rainbow, and everything was okay again. But that’s not what happened. There wasn’t even a witch, now that I think about it. Just strangeness and sugar, really.

What happened is this:

I was alone, lost in the woods. Of course, woods being woods, they decided to get all dark and creepy the moment I realized this. The further in I went, the darker it got. Soon I became convinced that the trees were all secretly in on some sick, twisted joke to see who could freak me out the most. At one point, they got so close and physically in my space, I just gave in. I shouted, “Take me! Do it! Make me your tree-slave!!!”

The forest kept quite a distance after that.

At last, I came to a small clearing in the forest and decided to sit under a non-evil looking oak tree and rest for a moment. Then, looming out of the wild, sadly-candy-cottage-less greenery, I saw of all things—a McDonald’s sign! It was bright. It was beautiful. Best of all, it was familiar. Those golden arches, that deep, fire engine red. I knew that logo! I walked on, exhilarated, as if I’d seen a friendly, old, slightly strange poem, but then I came around a bend and I couldn’t find the arches anymore. I was about to give up when a group of attractive young men on blue Citi Bikes came flying out of the night like pieces of blueberry pie on the run (or maybe just to Grandmother’s house).

“Hey, any of you guys know where McDonald’s is?” I asked as they passed me on the trail. One guy looked back at me like I was crazy and said, “In New York City? There’s one on like, every block!” and cycled off, laughing with his friends. I watched their skinny, black, fifteen-dollars-a-month wheels recede into the dim fairy tale twilit. There goes future witch food, I hoped. Soon I came to another clearing. There was a red stoplight. I stopped, even though I was alone, in a forest, on foot. I wonder what this says about me.

Then I heard voices talking some way off. Moments later, a group of robots emerged from a path. They were drinking from cherry-red Coke cans and talking excitedly about some new superhero movie. One of them was doing an impression; it was clearly a good one. The other robots were all laughing very squeakily. Nearby was a silvery blue lake with a definite fairy aura. No visible fairies—just a feel as if they’d been dipping their toes in there not too long ago. The round little robot who had done the impression stopped to take a sip of water. I watched it lap the cool water up with its silvery tongue like a deer. Gentle, yet robot-y. Then it saw me.

“Uh, you don’t happen to know where McDonald’s is, do you?” I asked. It was weird. I’d never spoken to a robot before. But it seemed that you went about it the normal way.

“McDonalds?” said the robot, wiping its little neat mouth and straightening up.

“Yeah,” I said. “I know it’s close—I was like, on the trail. Then I sort of, well, lost it.”

That last part I was pretty ashamed about, and my voice showed.

Lost it?” the robot said, and beeped several times. “No. No, no, no. No one ever loses McDonald’s. McDonald’s, my dear, loses you.” The robot beeped several more times, as if laughing at me. He was a sassy little one, this enchanted-woods-dwelling-robot, all right. But would he help me?

“Of course,” the robot said. In fact, helping strangers navigate their way in his city was his drug of choice! Well, that makes one of us, I thought. Then he pressed a series of important-looking buttons on his silvery-white chest and printed out a fresh, hot, luminous piece of paper. “Google Maps! Follow me, Lady McD,” he called, and zoomed off down a misty, primeval path like a pearly vacuum cleaner gone wild. I stood there for a moment, registering a little late that he was headed off in a different direction from his robot pals, before hurrying after.

The forest was strange, but even stranger to me was how at home my robot companion seemed among the sighing oaks and dew-dropped spider-webs. Well, he does have Google Maps, I thought. At one point, my strange guide let me press a little blue button by his ear and a drawer of pretty M&M’s popped out of his chest. Oh, how they twinkled at me in the moonlight like childhood jewels from far-off lands…I was so hungry, I just scooped them up. The blue ones, I remember, were especially delicious.

Finally, we came to this luminous green river we had to cross. It was funky, with old tires and little fish, but that’s not why I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because it was freezing in there. “Wow!” I squealed, pulling out my wet sneaker. That cracked the robot up, all right. He said, “Lady McD, meet The Green River. Well. Want me to carry you across?”

I laughed, but he was serious. “No way,” I said. “Absolutely not.”

The robot looked back at me, his would-be eyes twinkling, like he found me annoying, but also enjoyed my company too much to care.

Eventually, I gave in. The robot carried me in his arms, only when we got about halfway, there were some strange noises coming from him, and that’s when I remembered he was a robot and how could he be wheeling me through water anyway if he was fashioned from metal?

“Hey, are you okay?” I said.

“Of course, why wouldn’t I be?” my guide retorted, even though something deep in his system was making a loud, clanketing commotion like a drier in a laundromat gone rogue, and his little wet wheels were getting slower and slower in the saddest-sounding of ways. Finally, we made it. The robot said he’d like to sit for a minute if that was okay. I said that was okay. Then I went to look for something to help. But all I found was an old, white, vintage-looking sweatshirt from Disneyland on top of a mossy, overturned log. I brought it over and he hugged it and put it on. We kept going.

Finally, I saw McDonald’s up ahead. Only it was a dream-McDonalds, so it was sparklier and louder in places McDonald’s shouldn’t have been, but also nicer in ways it always wanted to be. Unfortunately, they were closed. Great. Just great, I thought, kicking a stone into the air. I don’t know, for some reason, I felt like everything had been depending on McDonald’s. Like if I just got there, everything would work out. Like maybe you’d even be there.

The robot turned to me. “M&M?” he said, opening up a bag.

“Sure,” I said, and held out my palm. He gave me a handful. I watched him eat his.

“Careful,” I found myself saying. “Someone once told me that if you eat too many, everything starts to look like a Disney movie.”

“Yeah, but I thought it took six bags to do that,” the robot said.

“Well, true…wait…what did you say?”

The robot laughed, only as I looked over, his high, funny laugh started to get less steely and more pleasant on the ear, and as he tapped his chest, his neck sort of sunk in, and his shoulders sort of rounded out, and then all the smooth, silvery parts of his body were folding up and being sent off, until it wasn’t a robot anymore standing next to me. Well, close. It was a New Yorker. “How…?” I said quietly. I couldn’t believe it. It was you, all right. My twin bro, my partner in sugary crime, once more, and ever after.

“Hey, Morgan,” you said easily, dusting off that dark, ragged winter coat of yours of silvery machine-puff, as if you’d just stepped in from the snow and not Death itself. “Miss me?”

Cocky lift of your eyebrow; that big, nerdy smile. Your voice like a prince-gone-illegal. A voice that I’ve heard in every corner and conversation of this world every day since we boxed your being. I couldn’t breathe.

“But you’re…how can…you were hit by that cab in Times Square. You died. And apparently I’m not allowed to miss you!” I kicked your shin. “You said to have my own adventures.”

You hopped on one foot, rubbing your shin. “Ow! And you listened… you Butthead,” you said, smiling a language I missed so bad it hurt. You put your hand in my hand. “B.”

I tried not to cry. “I’m your brother,” you said. “When they tell you I’m gone, you just turn to the M&M channel.” Your finger on my noggin. Suddenly all my thoughts felt precious; they meant I was closer to you. “So, will I see you tonight?” you asked, trying to balance on an old mossy log, a quiet, sad something in your look, but then, hopping down, your eyes regained their familiar flare, lit with the hope of some new twinly mischief. “Maybe some Grimm’s? Perrault? Please don’t make me say this…un poquito Disney-o?”

“You’ll see,” I said, or maybe “Guess!” or “Wouldn’t you like to know;” all I know is how familiar you felt, tossing M&M’s into your mouth from your old coat pocket, a step or two ahead of me in the moonlight, as we strolled together through a forest of our fantasies.

See you tonight.