The California Sound
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 the glass.
Her 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,
“Nothin’s gonna spoil my day for me. Not nothin’, not nobody. Not even Mother Nature.”
Finally, with 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 nothin’, 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 down.
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.
“Well 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 lot.
“So I’m laughing lighthearted moods, oh, the sight-seeing afternoons.”
Children began to appear with kites, sand buckets and shovels.
“And tellin’ a joke or two, ‘cause ev’ryday invites you to find
Your place in the sun,”
Men appeared in wet suits carrying surfboards, and women carrying boogie boards.
“It’s time to find your place in the sun.”
“Yes,” she 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 .
© Copyright 2016 Steven Hunley. All rights reserved.