California Dreaming

I stare into an evening sun; a pebble-sized hole in the reddening horizon.

The world stretches towards this sun, as if painted on the inside of an enormous straw; I, standing at one end, the sun the other. All the world curls around us. A boardwalk, wooden fencing, a hill covered in coastal shrubs, all rush to the shore ahead, where curious figures dance and sing and fill my nose with smells both wonderful and complex.

“Hello?” I whisper. No answer. I speak again. Louder, so that the figures on the shore might hear. Then a surge of sea-wind snatches them from my lips and feeds them to the chomping waves. The figures on the shore frolic on, so delighted with their circumstance, they do not stop to rest. I won’t speak anymore.

The sand’s virginal surface shows not a step, not a track, not a man-made mark; it is wholly untouched.

To my right, a range of brittle shrubs shudder under the sea-breeze. To my left, a huge expanse of golden dunes rise up to the clouds; between myself, the beach, the sea, and the sun, the clouds cast a frigid shadow. An ejaculation of laughter. A roar of applause. I plainly see fire on sticks, now being tossed twelve feet high in a rapid spin that catches and turns and tosses it high again, without ever stopping the spin. Two figures now, bound through the air and pass each other mid-flight with a flip and land back into the shadows. Music—high tempo, primitive, urges me on. I walk toward the shore.

To my consternation, the world—changes? The sky—shifts? No—it turns. It turns all around me like a cement mixer, but the earth and the sea and the sun, and I—we all stand still . . . I feel sick. I think I will be sick. I stop . . . the turning stops. I rest my hands on my knees and breathe deep. Somewhere out at sea, a ship blows its fog horn, sounding it for several seconds at a time. I grip my chest. The horn rattles my heart. The horn comes again! I think my bones might shake loose!

On the shadowy shore, curious figures wave and point at me. They want me to meet them. I can’t stop. I must reach the shore.

I take another step, now another, now another. The world begins to turn again. It mixes up my feet, crossing them left, now right, now tossing me down to the sand. This is a sign to stop. But I must meet the figures. They want me to come. They are waiting for me. If I can only reach the shore, I will truly be happy. The ship’s horn sounds again, “tuuuuurn baaaaack . . . tuuuuuuurn baaaaack . . .” it moans. The words that were not words echo in my head. But I can’t turn back. There is only onward . . .

I drag myself through the silky sand.

I wrote this scene sketch today. I hope you enjoyed it!







2 responses to “California Dreaming”

  1. Joe Avatar

    awesome! 🙂

  2. […] California Dreaming | Hey, it's Caleb Jacobo's blog. […]

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