I was lying in bed, unable to shut off my brain; words just kept coming - so I decided to get up and put them down on paper. What I wrote in the wee hours of the night will be the topic of my blog today...these words are part of that novel that has been plaguing my thoughts for the past 5 years. Please let me know what you think...
Dead fish, briny water, sweat, and just the most subtle hint of citrus, that is what the North Shore of the Salton Sea smelled like in the summer of ’81. Horse flies the size of half dollars, temperatures that reached 116 degrees, and alcoholic old men telling stories were the sounds that surrounded me. The small, illegal enclave of broken down, dilapidated campers that dotted the landscape at the inlet where I lived was a hell hole to many; a place to go and drink away the pain for some. I was 7 years old and didn’t know any better, it was heaven on earth to my young eyes because I was with him. The scrub grass, the tumble weeds, the jack rabbits and snakes; were all witness to the best and worst summer of my life.
I loved the old life raft that he inflated for me to fill with water I carried in buckets myself so that I could try to stay cool, I loved the pipe that emptied down the path - that cold water that came from who knows where, carrying who knows what in it - was so refreshing I never thought to ask if it was safe to drink or swim. I loved practice shooting with his pellet rifle at the old beer cans that seemed to amass outside of Jack and Joey’s campers every night. I loved the smell of George’s breath when he was drinking his special Tequila Sunrise medicine. Above all, I loved the old Honda motorcycle he used to drive me to the yacht club for Sunday Pancake Breakfast.
Have you ever been to a place so hot that just breathing is hard? A place where the mercury reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the locals comment on how cool its become? I remember the Baptist church we attended all summer, and how I was the only person in the congregation under the age of 65. I remember how cool that church was and how much I looked forward to going there, even though the preacher gave me the creeps because he always hugged me too close and too long. That church and the yacht club were the only places with air conditioning, the only places that didn’t smell like dead fish and sweat.
Now obviously, this is VERY rough and it is my first foray with letting others read what I write...so please be a bit gentle with me!