He ordered huevos rancheros and a beer for breakfast. Above the outdoor bar, a basketball game played on the TV which no one watched. He angled his barstool to face her. After inquiring further, the bartender clasped both hands and hinted at a bow. Several goldens ranging from deep red to light blond, like the beers on tap, dotted the patio and sunlight streamed at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
A too-thick layer of jelly-like translucence shook atop the sunny-side of his eggs after the plate had come to a rest before him. He chose to ignore it and you can choose to ignore so much and the alcohol was much more powerful that morning as coffee would be in the evening. He finished the glass with a pleasurable groan and allowed his eyes to water and blur for a second. They discussed what it would be like to live above your barber and bar and restaurant and yoga studio before asking for the check. They walked past their metered car a block further to the beach.
Along America’s south-western seaboard, blue and green light baths everything and the overall effect is of a strip of rainbow snaking along a meandering coastline. At sunset, remnant traces of light infused into your skin are teased back out and you can almost feel a gentle tug as the great, original source sinks over the planet’s edge. Like lapsed oxygen intake for our submerged marine brethren, you’ll have to come back up for more in the morning. At the last moment, the eternal orb sends its fire sideways through the last half mile of the ocean’s upper membrane allowing eyes to gaze directly upon the watery eclipse.
At the cliff there is a monument to the early peoples of the area, before non-native American arrivals. It’s been said grizzly used to herd amongst the hills here like buffalo on the middle plains. From the lookout, the colors of the bay and coastline swirl into one enormous vista more panoramic than the eyes can encompass. It is necessary, then, to sweep from left to right, more than 180 degrees to take it in. Warm and dry breezes shoot up the cliffs bringing herbal fragrances that smell of healing. The area faithful are going in several different directions this Sunday. The paddle boarders are out on their lonely platforms and sailboats swirl together in their own wakes like ancient Persian schooners.
They walk a path down to the harbor. It curves down the coast through a municipal garden. At the marina, expensive toys are on display. Some of the owners have wine and cheese at the stern of their vessels. On the bow of one a young man sunbathes while transfixed by some inter-web abyss. They doff their hats to the courage of these capitalists. For everyone knows the two happiest days of owning a boat. They recognize the man in the arena.
But, finally, it’s time to leave the coast. They regret not making a home there. But it’s better to have visited paradise and returned to the suburbs than never to have visited at all he says. Before they make their escape a curator of an art studio invites them into his store just next to their car. There is an American flag crisscrossed with yarn and a ceramic elephant the size of a cow and nude paintings and portraits of Hall of Famers from America’s pastime.
It’s time to leave and he tells them that someday they’ll need art for their home. Or maybe a boat they think as they get into their car where the meter had just timed out.