it's amazing...

how a sight or a sound can trigger a memory. This one wafted in and out when I was listening to the local college station during the ride home tonight. It's the last damned California story I'm going to tell, mostly because I need to clean out the mental attic and definitly because it was the end of California, forever.

California ended on March 1st, 1973, on the beach at the end of Avenue G. Everything you owned was packed in your car, the apartment over the luncheonette emptied out, hollow and melting like a jack o'lantern on a late November front porch. No ghosts could live there, it was a place too sad for haunting, we carried our ghosts out with us, quietly as always. We met up on the chilly beach just after noon, when the fog had been blown over to try out Japan by the landward breeze. I couldn't talk. You wouldn't. Not that we ever did that much, our conversations were mostly visual. You stuck you hand out from under the red and white striped blanket you wore wrapped around you and took mine, only for a moment and then let it drop. You buried your face in the side of my arm and cried. I could only look down at your always bare feet, so tan and so tiny and watch the sand crush up between your curled toes. It half covered your pink nail polish and made your toes look like lost bits of coral. You turned away from me and walked away and I didn't watch you go, but I should have. And so it ended a block from where it began, with a late night cup of coffee and a glance. It was real quiet when California died. I was never party to the death of a place before. It wasn't nice.
pearls before swine...


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