Everything was soon out of control. The dregs and miscreants of Southern California were infiltrating our house. Mitch stood atop a chair on the porch, scouting out potential customers on the boardwalk, directing them to the Drug Den. Mandy, meanwhile, was selling their inventory upstairs. I was impressed by their business model, all-the-while praying for my possessions, which were tucked in the closet of our unlocked bedroom. I then spotted Arnold at the other end of the room and waved at him, standing on my tip-toes to see over the swarm of strangers. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 8
I was bored and kinda sad too. I don’t know if it was Saturday or Sunday. I can tell you it was February. I remember thinking: “It’s hot as hell for February.” Really, it was those exact words. I know this because I also remember thinking: “I bet folks in hell are made to wear big puffy coats,” which I know I thought at one point because I see myself wearing a big puffy coat, and I can feel my hairy torso prickling with sweat as I hurry across the street and down the dirt-smeared stairwell, into a cramped, stuffy subway car where I say to myself, “I bet folks in hell are made to wear big puffy coats and ride back and forth on cramped, stuffy subway cars until the end of time.”
Arnold grabbed his skim-board from our room as we descended from the Drug Den. I found a spare board on the porch sitting underneath a table. The dogged California sun was tiring, beginning its descent and bathing the mackerel sky in a pale yellow coating. A local teenage boy was shouting into his phone, sitting on the boardwalk barrier with one foot above sand, the other above pavement, straddling the wide cement bannister as if it were a horse. The beach was uncrowded and serene as Arnold proved to himself and the world that he was an excellent skim-boarder. Watching him float atop the water – effortlessly elegant, yet endlessly silly in his sombrero – he seemed like one of Kerouac’s goofy water bugs zipping across pond surfaces in Big Sur Valley, just playing in the water ’till the end of time. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 7
Alicia was only eleven when a nightmare rose within her. Days and weeks would pass, sometimes months and years, but the nightmare never left. In fact, two days before Alicia’s eighty-eighth birthday (incidentally, a week before she passed away) her nightmare returned after an eleven-year absence. The old woman was startled to wake in the dead of night, though no longer scared. Continue reading A Long Life
There’s nothin’ –
nothin’ like cold beer
after long Summer days
or maybe it’s Spring still Continue reading Nothin’ Like It
Cries of activity from the porch interrupted my reveries. Carl, the sweet-talking politico from New Orleans, was assembling troops for a dip in the ocean.
“Gitty up mother fuckers it’s swimmin’ time!” he cried out spiritedly. Eddy trailed reluctantly, his thin French body trembling in anticipation of the water.
“Sheet man, thees will be cold as fuck,” he kept saying.
The pack descended from the porch, crossed the boardwalk, hopped over the ledge and marched through the sand, into the great ocean. I chuckled at the thought of Lewis and Clark, whose westward journey had been a bit more challenging.
I tossed and turned into the wee hours of night, squirming and sighing, praying for shut eye that wasn’t forthcoming – not in that godforsaken madhouse with a thump-thumping stereo, not with the lunatics howling till dawn. When silence finally reigned, its unexpectedness felt unnerving, as if a great massacre had taken place, leaving behind nothing except motionless bodies and a grotesque, eerie void. Continue reading Senior Week – Chapter 5