Sunshine Haze

It was a day when they could sit in the sand for hours. When they could lie near the shoreline and watch the green-blue of the ocean collide with the frothing white and burst onto the shore with a rumble, then whisper as the broken wave licks far up the sandy slope, then finally roll back into the ocean forever.

It was a day when the beachcombers could hear but not listen. When they would want to cry and smile and ‘til their hearts were full. A day when they could let the fiery dogs loose, dragging the unmanned carriage behind them, it's wheels jouncing with the dog's ferocious velocities, and then they would run across the ocean in the blink of an eye and run and run until they disappear from sight at the point where the ocean meets the sky.

“Well, you know what they say,” said the girl.

The noise of the ocean rose again.

“And what might that be?,” said the boy.

“No rain, no rainbows.”

“Huh.” The boy was too stoned, really, and he wondered absently where his shirt was. The girl looked at him with her eyes shimmering and he looked out at the ocean.

“Well, we better get going.”

“You're right.”

The two stood up and brushed the sand off their legs and donned their sunglasses. Sounds of music and smells of hemp wafted across the beach and they both walked in it's direction. The day was calling and they both smiled in spite of themselves and laughed and the sand was warm between their toes. They passed by people dancing and scurried through the parking lot to get to the boy's car, hopping quickly because the tar was so hot. The boy hopped in front, reached over and creaked open the other door. The girl climbed up and smiled at him. He kissed her.

He started up the engine and turned up some music, not too loud. The girl had never heard this song, she liked it and said so. He arched his back and craned his neck around, rummaging through some bags in the back seat. He pulled out a bottle.

“Want some?” He gave it's murky liquid a playful shake, and took a sip himself. Then he held it up in the sunlight again.

“Oh, yeah,” She eagerly took it out of his hand and downed a swig. The boy glanced at her out of the corner of his eye for a moment and then grinned, and pulled out of the lot and turned up the music. The girl laughed and looked out the window, with the bottle in her lap. She glanced back at him.

The boy was happy in his thoughts and his driving and his breath. This girl was one of many, for him. And this girl was particularly cute, as was the one who wanted to come over tomorrow night. He smiled to himself and took the wheel with one hand and a drink with the other, grabbing the bottle out of the girl’s hand.

They stopped at a light.

The girl was smiling but serendipitous in her mind, wondering when the next change might come. She too had another lover, yet really, she wanted to move away entirely. In her heart she dreamed of New York City.

“So where are we goin', baby?,” she said, twirling her hair between her fingers.

“Jack's house,” he said, and he lightly took the bottle out of her hand, took a gulp, and then placed it back as the light turned and he smoothly drove off.

“Sound's good.”

They drove along with the ocean on their left and the trees and the houses on their right and neither of them really thought about anything too much. The sun was so strong the boy flipped down the shade in front of the front window, and as he did this he slowly rolled the huge vehicle to a stop. A dog limped innocently into the middle of the road far in front of him, then plopped down serenely in the perfect center. The boy pulled up to it, and gave his horn a light honk. The dog sat there, brown and short hair and it's eyes calm and it's tongue lolling.

“It's cute,” the girl said.

“It's in the way.”

As cars behind the boy began to honk the boy revved up the engine a little and pulled up closer to the dog, and then, as if that was it's plan all along, it hopped up and trotted to the other side of the road.

“Strange,” the boy said.

They were off again, and the day was so hot indeed that the boy rolled down all the windows, and the sunroof, and let the rushing air pour in. And in that instant they felt it all so close, all of it, both the boy and the girl, their physical presumptions lost, they felt the ocean as if they were it and the fine mist rising from the crown of their forehead as their heart breaks onto the shore and their feet keep moving and undulating far beneath and as their faces are the warmth of the sun eternal, they felt their eyes radiate and they felt their arms dance like the sun's rays and they even felt the dog and they each felt sudden pangs of loneliness, as if both seatbelted suddenly at their stomachs.

Then the boy pulled into the pebbled driveway of Jack's house and they heard the stones crunch beneath the car's tires. They both jumped out of the car, a little bit disconcerted, but still merry and their step lilted from the rum. They smiled for the smell of barbecue and they could see the smoke rising over the fence in the backyard. The front screen door swung open with a sweeping squeak and a bang.

“Hello! Who are you fine young folks?” A man with long hair and shorts stood in the doorway and smiled hugely.

“We're friends of Jack's.” The boy said as he and the girl stepped up to the door.

“Fantastic! A friend of Jack's is a friend of mine,” and he stuck out a hand and shook warmly to both the boy and the girl. He beckoned them in and shut the door behind them, and when they turned around he had a spliff in his mouth and was about to light it. He took a puff then brushed back his long and frazzled hair. He smiled again.

“Drinks and people are out back, make yourselves at home.”

The boy and the girl walked through an oddly neat kitchen and heard the noises of laughter and music outside, and they pushed open another screen door and stepped out into the warmth. A cheer went up as the boy recognized his friends and he went around greeting and introducing the girl to a few, and very soon they were set up with a substantial amount of drink. The boy took a seat and nodded to the girl to come over, and when she sat he brought her closer to him and kissed her ear. It went farther from there and they leaned back in the white couch and kissed deeply as the copious amounts of smoke washed over them, and time passed and they got up and smoked and dance and drank, then sat down and did it again, and then repeated the ritual once more in the pool like a foreign tribe with an apocalypse date set, all until it was very dark outside. With the night came a sense of urgency for some reason, and the boy looked at the girl and took her hand. He lead her away from the splashing and the yelps and the laughs , and took her where all that was a memory and began to kiss her on the grass.

Soon the girl's body was naked and in the starlight the boy could see her beauty, but not for very long because in the end he couldn't see very straight. They got dressed, instead and then the boy got up and led her back to the car. He slowly drove her home.

He began to pull out of her driveway and drive home and he made it to the end of the road and then stopped and turned off the engine and just sat. He attributed it to the drink and revved up the engine, the purr of a dark owl, drove home, lay down slowly on his bed with his palms facing upward and his feet stretched out, looking at the tiny cracks in the ceiling until he fell asleep.


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