Zuma Beach

ll 126
Ah the Irish boats

Flickr was sold to Yahoo and now it sucks. I am responsible for finding art work for Red Hen’s books. This is a full time job which is one of my full time jobs. I have to find art for most of our book covers, and it is terribly time consuming.

But my ace was Flickr. I loved surfing Flickr and finding new artists and photographers. That’s where I first discovered Holly Henry, Amy Crehore—whose art work I love but we’ve never been able to afford to use, and many other amazing artists.

But Flickr was sold to Yahoo, and now it’s really not a functional site. You used to be able to put in an idea of something you are looking for and up would come all these images with links to the artist’s sites. It’s very sad now that it’s been reduced to a site that doesn’t take you anywhere.

But, in spite of the setback of having no Flickr, I found art work for four books today.

A good day other than that too. I saw my friend Eloise, and we had a great conversation. It was so lovely to see her and Colleen.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to the beach. Zuma Beach.

Excerpt from my story, “Guernica:”

1. Zuma Beach
My mother fell in love with a man whose hands shook. She told me about this while we drove to the beach. I asked her about being in love. Nothing I really understand. Because I love them all. I really do. So I asked her. Because it was a perfect beach day. Southern California. One of many perfect beach days. I asked Mother about love, and she told me about the man who loved her so much that when he walked her around his garden, his hands shook. She thought this was the great love of her life. Then what? I ask, and she says, Well, he came over for dinner and afterward we played Jenga and I realized that his hands just shook like that. He was like an old man. He had shaky hands. So it had nothing to do with me. Or love. The beach sunlight is almost white. I almost can’t see the girls who I know are spread out all over it like music you could walk into. All their legs, their high pitched laughter sailing out across the water, the way they reach and reach. For what? You don’t know with girls. They’re always reaching.
We pull up and I say, What happened to Jenga man?
Mother says, He turned out to be just a man whose hands shook. Not the great love at all.
Is there a great love? I ask.
Yes, she says, there is. But it’s too big to talk about.
Bigger than the ocean?
She puts on her sunglasses then. She smiles like she has a secret. We walk down to Zuma beach. Girls everywhere. In the sunlight.
Zuma. Zuma. I say to myself. I may name my first child that. Especially if the child happens here. Anything is possible. I am fifteen.
2. Zebra Porn
My high school has every conceivable kind of person. There are stoners and metal heads, punk rockers and the endless wannabee rappers. Not too many real rappers. There is no cool group, no popular group. We are many. There are four thousand of us wrapped around the school mascot. The campus security see us as the faceless many, as predators, as trouble. We are the prisoners, they the guards. They are virgins all of them. Their faces very clean; they smell of soap, they walk outside the chain linked fence, eat food that is not slop. They peer in on the packed halls, the throngs at lunch time like birds of prey, eyes hungry and yellow, heads cocked sideways. Reptiles and birds of prey have that sideways look. Campus security too. At food breaks, the rush of humans looks like a circus. The freaks, the Asians, the Armenians, the football players, the tall Black girls in their tight jeans, the cheerleaders, crowds of dark haired girls, so many nationalities piled so close together, you wouldn’t know which was which, the Pacific Islanders, the Middle Easterners, the Filipinos, Latinos, and the endless mixed race students with names like Javier Yan, Osama Covarrubias. My sister and I are in the small minority of Whites, but I will not adapt. I wear my Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath close to me. I walk the talk, I listen to music, I am the street, the sound, the dirt, the hooded head, the low torn sweatshirt, the sagging pants, I am over six feet and I am every security person’s nightmare. I laugh out loud in class. I make the class laugh by just looking at them. I am the cool pants they always wanted to have, the girls waiting for me outside class are their girls.
Campus security were once people in another life. But in this one, they were born little zombies and all their school life, they smelled like zombies, looked like zombies, kissed like zombies, their mouths tasted like zombies. Their girls didn’t demand to be on top, didn’t scream at the top of their lungs. Their girls were zombiettes. They smelled like powder; they never walked around the house naked. They never used handcuffs for recreational purposes. They cooked scrambled eggs for the zombies and served them with orange juice. Campus security have their orange juice wives and their clicking pens and their mouths tasting like old mint. On weekends, when they’re feeling frisky, they watch zebra porn.

Published in: on July 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm  Comments (1)  

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