Waves Breaking From Behind

…Parkstoke was the name of the town, and if you were ready to get stoked then you went to Parkstoke, willows swaying and bending in the gusts of November wind, leaves turning from burgundy to coffee overnight, refusing to blow off, trunks black as soot towers, towers that squirrels jumped into at around the same time each morning while Bob ate breakfast, Sunday mornings but no gospel, waiting until later when the cat was awake, baking a vegan quiche, onions and peppers, but no crust and no experience making a crust from scratch, Bob’s daring attempts to lay hay and roll the dough instead of in the dough, seeing fit to autumn and its roll across the horizons of time, and the sun also surmised low angles, with no remembrances of seasons in San Brisas, not four seasons, maybe two, sunny or vague, the beach and drunk teenagers hogging the sidewalk in S.B. during the street fest in June, the walks up and down Santa Rosanna, the pier breakfast at dawn on a fogged-in morning, barely

… the night pitch-black and the sea winter-raging thirty feet below the rocks …

able to make it to the coffee, then the view back to land over the waves breaking from behind, the light barely coming up over Swells Beach, surfers shooting the pier underneath them, gulls and pelicans bombarding the fishing deck with their pasty goo, the sudden desire to rent one of the surf cottages perched high above on the edge of the cliffs, where drunks almost fall off when too stoned to see where they are going, the night pitch-black and the sea winter-raging thirty feet below the rocks, the slip and then the dreams, walking away, then back through, being blown back in time by the gust of wind and the lack of gentleness in Bob’s keyboard strokes, the hesitancy struck out of them like a percussion instrument, the keys rattling like billions of sabers, the rat-a-tat-tat of leaves blown with hurricane force at the window, Poe waited till the bleak December, and that day’s football game was all running, which gave the Mammoths the advantage, dreams of Sweetness rushing for 275 in ’77, Bob’s dad living in the apartment building and able to walk to his neighbor’s front door without leaving the interior, watching part of that game at someone else’s apartment standing in the doorway, it was Flacocito’s, the apartments with the goldenrod shag carpet, the carpet you had to rake with a leaf rake, the wind battered the turret and it felt as if Bob were on the bridge of a freighter plowing across Superior during a storm, diving in amongst the fifty-foot mountains of water, but it was only wind and Bob watched men walk dogs down the sidewalk instead of men being blown overboard, and where was the Titanic when Jack and Rose needed it, because it really let them down, thank you, weeks of long shadows, the bleak December approached, and the crows got the cat’s attention…

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