Outside it was
wet and rainy, then rainy and wet. At first, but just at first
mind you, she didn't know what to do. As Wendy looked out the
window, she pressed her delicate hand up against the glass to
feel the cold.
"So that's how
it's gonna be," she said, as the rain drops beat a rhythm against
French-tipped nails provided counterpoint as she started to
think. Finally, she decided,
"Nothin is gonna
spoil my day."
She pulled her
flowered flannel nightgown off over her head. But instead of
dressing warmer, she pulled off her undies and threw them in the
hamper. In her top drawer she fished around for her bikinis. She
found the blue and white one printed with hibiscus flowers. It
was the one she was looking for, the one she'd bought last year
when she attended the witch's convention in Tahiti. She'd never
had a chance to wear it. Her chance was now.
Over her bottom
she slipped on her blue-jean cutoffs. Over her top she pulled on
a black t-shirt. On it was a palm tree and the name of a music
group, Pablo Cruise. Neither top nor bottom was suitable
for the weather. She put flip-flops on her feet on one end of
her, pulled her blond hair into a ponytail on the other end of
her, and secured it with a scrungie. This California girl had
nearly everything she needed.
She took the
aluminum folding chair off her rain-soaked balcony and folded it
up. In the kitchen drawer she found a baggie and placed her MP3
player inside it along with earphones, then sealed it up, placing
it in her pocket.
Then she put on
her waterproof mascara, some coconut-raspberry lip gloss, and a
smear of titanium dioxide on her nose. When she checked in the
mirror she said to the girl she saw,
spoil my day for me. Not nothin', not nobody. Not even Mother
her sunglasses on her nose, her chair under her arm, and her
spirits quite bright, she ran down the stairs, out onto the
sidewalk and up the street just in time to catch the 125 west
down Rosecrans Boulevard, straight to Manhattan Beach.
It was puddles
all the way. Everyone she saw was soaked. Everything was
dripping. The only people that use umbrellas in California are
old Mexican ladies, and then only to protect them from the sun.
This wasn't a sunny day.
The bus let her
off on the hill overlooking the Pacific. This was Manhattan
Beach. Not a person was in sight. She walked down the hill to the
sand. She climbed over the sea wall and walked until she was ten
yards from the surf. She unfolded the chair and looked up the
coast to her right, which was north, then down the coast to her
left, which was south.
not nobody," she observed, " But I'll soon change that."
She took off the
Pablo Cruise top and placed it on the back of the chair.
Then she made both hands into fists, her elbows bent upwards,
took a deep breath and stretched. After that she slipped her
cutoffs off. They were so wet she had to peel them off, as they
turned inside out. She kicked off her flip-flops. Then she sat
It was still
drizzling. Dark thundering clouds crowded the sky refusing even
one patch of blue.
When she pulled
her scrungie out of her hair, the thunder stopped.
When she shook
her hair as if to dry it, the wind shifted from cold to warm,
coming now from the land instead of the sea.
When she put her
sunglasses on, a speck of golden light obeyed, appearing right
there on the sand where she was sitting.
She smiled, as
if she was satisfied. But she wasn't. She wanted more, and she
would have it. She pulled her MP3 player out, put in her ear
plugs and selected the song, A Place in the Sun. Pablo
Cruise was a California group, so it seemed only fitting.
ev'rybody's heart needs a holiday, sometime."
"And ev'ry one
of us needs to get away, somehow."
At this the
clouds parted a bit, then they got with it and parted a
"So I'm laughing
lighthearted moods, oh, the sight-seeing afternoons."
to appear with kites, sand buckets and shovels.
"And tellin' a
joke or two, 'cause ev'ryday invites you to find
Your place in
Men appeared in
wet suits carrying surfboards, and women carrying boogie
"It's time to
find your place in the sun."
thought, as a smile finally crossed her pretty pink lips, "It
is a magical song."
A man appeared
selling frozen fruit bars, and ten kids with inner tubes showed
up. Parking became a problem. That was pretty weird for December,
you have to admit.
In the end you
may decide it was a horribly selfish thing to do, as she did it
all for herself, and that she was probably suffering from an
attack of whimsy. But I think many people, especially the ones on
the beach that day, would disagree. I guess it all depends on
witch way you look at it .