Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Hook Up Rev 1

Fred and Kathy both opened the doors of the SUV at the same time, stepping down to the sandy earth one foot at a time. The three younger kids were imprisoned in their car seats; two in the second row and one in the back. The older two were wedged in between, wearing exasperated expressions from the ride, the heat, and the fact that they had to waste their summer at the beach in Southern California when all their friends were staying on the lake or heading to that expensive resort in Canada just across the border near home.

Fred lifted up the hatch to get at the newly purchased beach chairs, shoved in the back behind the seat. He handed two each to the older kids and then began pulling the canopy from the roof where it was secured with several bungee cords.

We should've left the motel earlier, he thought, as he surveyed the stretch of sand lining the ocean front. There’s got to be over a thousand people here already. How the heck am I supposed to find a place to put this thing up? He watched as his two older children trailed after his wife, boldly weaving a trail between families, teenagers, surfers, and sand castles being erected by what looked to be some sort of youth group, looking for a place to land.

Kathy finally stopped where the dry sand resists the tide, looked back at him, and waved. Penny and Todd  put down the chairs trying to stake out a space large enough for the canopy, and in an effort to disguise the fact that they were here with their family.His daughter plopped down on one of the chairs in the center and dug her cell phone out of her pocket.

Kathy and Todd headed back to the car and as they got closer, Fred walked slowly towards them holding the canopy on one shoulder and lugging a 20 pound chest filled with a large ice block and two six packs of soda with his other arm. He grimaced as his virgin feet hit the hot sand. He groaned inwardly as he realized  how long it was going take to reach their base camp. Oh well, he thought, this is what a husband and father is supposed to do, right?. Put up or shut up bucko, he thought, as he continued his journey.

As he approached Penny, he overheard her say quietly "I’ll meet you tonight" and briefly puzzled over who in the world she could be talking to, since they did not know anyone within 2,000 miles, but quickly refocused on the task at hand- erecting the canopy.

He was just securing the last supporting pole, when his wife approached with their youngest daughter Zoe cradled on one hip. Kathy had ordered a beach cover-up in a leopard skin stretchy fabric from a catalog and was also wearing gold sandals with tiny heels that the same catalog declared were in style for a tropical vacation this year. She looked very pretty but a little dressed up for this southern California beach town

He looked around at their neighbors and noticed there were two scary looking teen boys just north of them, and on the south side a woman with a very small bikini, a deep tan and the look of a morning after. A pack of cigarettes and 2 empty beer bottles lay in the sand next to her,  a disposable lighter tucked inside the cellephane box wrapper. Kathy is going to love sitting next to a smoker, he thought, but it’s too crowded and too late to move.

His daughter Penny was a pretty girl of 13 but she looked young for her age. They had enrolled her in a private girl’s school last year, where a uniform was the standard dress. She was still a bit of a tomboy, and remained on good terms with boys in the neighborhood she had known since kindergarten. She had never given them a moment of worry, but seeing her in this setting, so scantily clad, he was feeling a bit uncomfortable with the obvious physical signs that she was growing up.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw his wife waving at him. He could tell, even from this distance that she was wondering what was taking him so long.  He headed back towards the car to get the last of the supplies so they could all begin their vacation.

To be continued

©2010sharonjcorrigan

The Green House Rev 1

Thank god for the trolley system, they thought as they hopped off at the corner of Leucadia Blvd and Orpheus. For the last decade since the oil ran out and gasoline fueled cars became obsolete, local and state government agencies had finally been forced to work together to deliver a workable transportation system..

Heading south on Orpheus, they spotted the first flag, waving wildly in the ocean breeze and silently announcing an open house. Sally waved her right wrist over the scanner near the front gate and Paul did the same- allowing them to enter the property together. It was so nice to be able to look at the place without a pesky real estate agent hovering on every word.

The pathway through the vegetable garden looked like gravel but was soft and spongy- obviously some sort of recycled material. Every window on the front of the house was a different shape and size, but the placement of each opening had been carefully planned to give it a balanced aura in the late morning sun.

The front door was at least 18 ft tall and was actually 2 doors that were painted a pale green that almost disappeared behind the moss and vines that helped to insulate the structure. The doors opened automatically as they approached and a motorized awning descended and expanded to shelter the entrance from the sun helping to keep the cool air inside the house. It was marvelously quiet in the entryway- the walls gave off a hushed calming glow and the textured flooring seemed to flow into the horizon like the ocean.

Passing under the first archway, the house seemed to transform into an entirely different shape.

I’m trying to decide if I like that transition or if it’s a little creepy. Sally murmured quietly to Paul. I think I like it but it’s a little unsettling. I’m used to walls that are rooted to the foundation but in this home they seem to move in a very intuitive way that feels womblike. He looked at her thoughtfully from a distance of about 20 feet and wondered if she was seeing the same thing he was.

She paused for a moment and then took a seat on a red upholstered bench hanging in the corner. He strode purposefully across the remaining distance and sat down next to her. What do you see he said?

She softened her gaze and let her mind drift slowly from side to side trying to focus on the shapes that seemed to move along with her glances.She didn’t seem to be able to visualize herself on the bench she knew she was sitting on- but she decided to try to describe what she was feeling and not to get distracted by that thought.

I feel you in the air inside the house. I sense where the kitchen is, where the lights are and how to activate the doors and windows. It’s strange but it all feels very intuitive and comforting. Its home. We belong here.

She felt him turn his body slightly towards her and heard him say quietly. I see you too, in the air in the garden and in the structure itself. I can visualize coming home and knowing without seeing or hearing a sound that you are there waiting for me, that you’ll always be there. He took her hand and they moved further into the room towards a circle of light that shifted as the tress outside moved in the breeze.

The walls seemed to part in front of them

To be continued

©2010sharonjcorrigan

Red Light District Rev 1

I just dropped by for a glass of wine while I was walking the dogs. When Ginny is home and her front door is ajar, it’s like a red light for a prostitute, Bar’s open, companionship welcomed.

I told her I had to pee, and she waved me towards the bathroom in the hall saying “Excuse the mess; I just got home from a trip.” I closed the door behind me and took care of business.

I’d had garlic for lunch and it had upset my stomach. The taste was still lingering on my tongue, and the smell on my fingertips. Maybe I’ll use a bit of toothpaste and brush the inside of my mouth. It might also make my fingers smell minty which would be an improvement over the garlic.

I pulled opened the left drawer and found it was full of bottles of nail polish and used emery boards. Odd to put that in the top drawer I thought. The second drawer was stuck and almost came out of the cabinet as it opened. I let out a gasp fearing that my neighbor would suspect what I was up to if it hit the floor.  How embarrasing! It held boxes of condoms in every size and texture.

Switching to the right side of the vanity, I decided to start on the bottom since the organization of these drawers defied any sort of logical order. Hair accessories and some Band-Aids were haphazardly arranged in a curious circular tray. No luck here, one more to go.

Sliding open the top drawer I was stunned to see a gold plated gun- lying alongside a bag of white powder, a dirty spoon and a syringe. A piece of tubular strapping material from a patio chair was wadded up in the corner.  Oh My God. My heart began to race and I quickly slid it closed taking care to do it as quietly as possible and then faced the door, closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

Get me the hell out of here, was all I could think ,but I knew I had to somehow exit the bathroom, sit casually on the couch and try not to gulp down the glass of wine.Pulling the door open, I saw Ginny draped over a chair, now dressed in an oversized mumu, and she was waving me to a seat on the couch opposite her.

I’ll apologize now for the wine if it’s no good. It was really cheap at Trader Joes so I thought I’d give it a try. I smiled slightly and grabbed the glass by the stem as I sank into the couch trying to hide my new discovery by avoiding full eye contact.

To be continued

©2010 sharonjcorrigan

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Footprints Rev 2

Dry sand erupted beneath my flip flops as I trailed the dogs down to the waterline at dog beach. Spadefuls crunching and scattering like handfuls of rice on a hardwood floor, a few grains detaching from a the herd

Off like the wind, paws slapping the wet mucky quicksand along the shoreline, the rising tide receding into the horizon scattering crystal bubbles in a random pattern overlapping and repeating as they slalomed across each other’s tracks .

Tiny knatty insects diving into ribbons of kelp washed ashore during the last high tide, round and round like a miniature tornado. The pups joyfully leap into the spongy slippery piles of ocean greens and roll around wriggling their bodies until the pungent smell permeates their fur. Then they are off, greeting the other canine visitors, dashing into the pack with uninhibited yelping and whooping, veering south to the abandoned Starbucks muffin someone left behind. Score!

Footsteps above me, creaking planks giving way as others cross over the bridge to the cove, miniature waterfalls of the gritty sparkly sand creating intricate designs on my belly through the gaps as I nap. Under the boardwalk.

Just across the highway, ponies are exercising, trotting in the morning sun, warming up for the races later in the day, hooves slapping the earth with a muffled thud , a metallic echo bouncing off the hills behind me when the shoes hit a rock or a random piece of a bridle discarded by a careless jockey.

Nightmare from the night before, footsteps behind me in the wrong part of town, marking time, matching my pace, speeding up as we enter the commercial district. Workers gone for the day. Bodies, poles, cars, buildings throwing shadows, heart pounding, the jarring sound of static on a car radio as I cross the intersection, getting closer now, and out of reach of the sirens that could bring safety to my night. Scanning the sidewalk for shelter, a phone booth, an open door, a coffee shop, a kindly stranger.

Passing a old warehouse the sound of flamenco dancers staccato rhythms on vintage floors create a hollow repetitive symphony. Crossing diagonally the clicking clacking pounding, scraping, bruising controlled violence of the river dancers with shiny cheeks and grinning, leering freckle faced masks. Shaking walls, trembling windows launching bass vibrations into the air like a low rider cruising for trouble in East LA.

And then, a hush , leather toe shoes brushing the floor, landing perfectly, gracefully, delicately,deliberately, talking flight. Tendons screaming, muscular calves strain as skill coaxes the body into graceful, precise positioning to be embraced by a partner.

And so it began...

©2010sharonjcorrigan

Martinique Rev 1

It’s a warm tropical night in Martinique. I’ve been here for 2 days and the weather has been perfect, warm but with a breeze and cloud cover. I spent today with James and Scott, life partners and business partners in a hair salon, in a suburb of Milwaukee.


I’m not too sure about Scott’s background but I do know his mother is alive because he mentions her frequently. James is classically handsome, an Adonis, chiseled features and a great body. His father is supposedly the last of the mafia dons- although his hair is blonde, and he looks more Scandinavian than Italian.

I’d met them on the plane from Miami to Guadalupe. Air France- free booze on the Club Med express. They were trading hair cuts for beads, the currency used at the club for call drinks, and extras.

The disco was open tonight and Scott and James and I , and Lila from NY, Debbie from Dallas (no, not that Debbie), Brad from Redondo and the brothers from Newport- were all getting primed in the boy’s pavilion room, one of only 6 rooms at the resort with a double bed.

My hair was being teased and sprayed and piled high on top of my head. Smoking cigarettes and East Indian “tabac”, I was feeling a bit giddy, a bit silly, and a bit wild. My first journey onto the nude beach today had resulted in a bit of sunburn, everywhere. Kerrie with a K from Palos Verdes in a white gauzy dress, arrived today with a case of Taittinger and a monogrammed silver ice bucket to keep the bubbles flowing for my new group of friends, and helped erase the tenderness of the fiery burnt flesh of my privates.

To be continued….

©2010sharonjcorrigan