I go out and hope for the best, am a little scared about the worst that could happen. I drive slow and look for things to find now that I have the time, so when I don’t have the time I’ll know where they are.
I decide to find a movie theater I’ve never been to. The day before, I went to see the new the Spiderman Movie. It was okay, but didn’t hold my attention. I needed something with a little more grit to match my mood of yesterday. I wanted to see this movie “Savages” because Benicio Del Torro is such an intensely peculiar actor.
I found the theater. A huge cineplex on a major intersection. No signs, no name, if you didn’t have GPS you might never find it. Before the movie I felt a little on the lost weak side of the scale. After the movie I felt like the biggest strongest drug dealer in California, sleeping with the prettiest woman and having the best friend. I suppose that’s what movies do to us… they give us someone else to project into for a little while.
So, now that I’m thin, rich, handsome, extremely tan and muscular, survived the standoff with the Mexican Cartel and am back in the car driving. I’m not going to the beach. I’m not going to the beach. I always go to the beach. I’m not going to the beach.
The beach was very beautiful that night. Shooting up into the trees as the sun sets, always prints the best fluffy silhouettes.
I think about not going to the beach because there is never anything there. Nothing there worth shooting anyway. Especially worthy of me being such a rich drug lord, owning the nicest house on the coast of California and traveling the world to save starving children. I decided to go anyway and walk into the sun, so I’d have all the best lit shots as I walked back to the car.
Soon after getting on the beach, I met these two guys bathing in one of the many tiny sandbar puddles, with two baby Dobermans. I got the feeling they were gay, the two guys, but am not sure, and not that there’s anything wrong with that. I gave one of them my card in case he wanted to see any of the pictures and the other just laid in the puddle with the doggies on his face.
It reminded me of the two-year old red Doberman I had for a while. So many funny stories came to mind about her. Her name was Portia and if you’ve ever owned a Doberman, than you know what it’s like to have such a sweet beast at the tip of your fingers. Despite her constant kisses, the neighborhood association banged on my door one night, waving flaming torches and pitchforks, demanding the monster be banished from the village.
Fortunately, I found a good home for her, but this is what they look like as babies.
As I strolled up the beach, I came to another strange sandbar puddle. In it were four little ladies. Two were pulling the other two floating. All of them had to be younger than 12 years old. Though one of them didn’t quite look that way. My perspective shifted and it looked to me like older versions were pulling younger versions of themselves, behind them. I wondered if all women secretly pull their younger self behind them.
I remember a time when my daughter was this age and she turned to me crying. “What’s the matter sweetie?” I said. She started to explain to me that as she filled up with experience she could also feel herself lose her innocence. She cried and cried about how she didn’t want to lose the feeling of being free and unburdened by knowing better. She loved to get undressed and run free, naked and giggling.
One time I knew someone who, on her birthday each year, at night before the day was lost to the day after, at around 11:55 P.M., she would strip down to her birthday suit and run around her back yard naked. This was on her 35th birthday, a grown woman running around like a little girl. She called into her space all the glee and joy of her infancy. I watched in amazement and marveled at witnessing this monumental moment.
I thought it funny how each little puddle on the beach this day, seemed to hold a reflection of an old story.
Further up the beach was another puddle. Like little wet neighborhoods containing different people with different memories. Little exclusive pools with characters bathing, waiting for me to just walk by and take their picture. Because that’s what Drug Lords do. They stroll the beach with their monster camera and shoot strangers.
Little blonde boys lining up colored floating fish. I wondered what kind of hand, life would deal to him. Would it have anything to do with fish?
A few puddles down the beach I came to a wedding. There were lots of people sitting in lots of puddles waiting for the bride to come out. Whether they were in the wedding party or not, everyone had a clear view of the event. At this point, I don’t think I was a Drug Lord anymore. I was morphing into something else. Someone who I was last week. The Father of the Bride perhaps?
Regardless, there was a whole puddle of beauties waving at me asking me to shoot them. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. They would never see the shot and I would never see them again. Begging to be shot, I grabbed them all. What is it about screaming drunk girls, wearing bikinis that are two sizes too small, that makes a man forget what he’s doing?
It reminded me of something I would tell my little girls. “Never forget, that the most powerful force in the universe, is a beautiful, intelligent woman. Use your power wisely.” Ahhhh… little girls. They are so precious.
I turned invisible and attempted to get a shot of the bride coming out on the beach. I scoped all the different angles and finally found one to shoot from. I saw the official photographer doing his thing, but felt a little more free of consequence than the grabber of the lifetime photo. The “till death do us part” shot. At first I thought about my daughter’s beach wedding a few weeks prior.
Her’s was perfect beyond any plan. Despite the storm that forced us all to the cool, dry, indoors for the ceremony and the reception, it was truly a perfect wedding. She had wanted to get married on the beach like these folks, but all I saw on this day, was a bunch of hot, sweaty, sandy people, wishing the party would go faster, so they could go inside, get cool, get drunk and dance their asses off.
As I looked at the Bride walking down the aisle, I was reminded more of another event in my life. Long before I was the recent Father of the Bride. The man walking along side this woman did not look like her dad. It took me back years and years to a time when I was actually an old girl friend’s bride’s maid.
Something about me not marrying her and her unsuccessfully marrying others combined with her own father passing, made her ask me to both, give her away, and be her bride’s maid. She thought that if it was me giving her away, that the next guy she would marry, would be the one that would last the rest of her life.
She is still a dear friend of mine, but at the time, I think it was her third marriage, that I walked her down the aisle in lieu of her dad and secretly carried my identity, as the one that got away. I took two planes, rented a car and took a ferry to a strange island off the coast of Cleveland, to get there.
She was married a few times after that, so me being there was not as magical as we had hoped. But I hadn’t thought about that till just now. Funny how things remind us of other things. Ironically, I think her daughter was married recently as well.
I decided to head back to the car as I had to get home, to let Page the dog, out, and cook the Sock Eye Salmon, before it went bad. Heading back to the car with the sun behind me, two identical Pelicans floated by.
I walked up on a little kid in another puddle and grabbed him real fast from the distance. The blow up and the over processing of the image made him a little surreal. Better for a picture on a puzzle than a real life grab, but there he was. I thought it interesting how some puddles reflect the entire image and some only reflect a part of the picture.
A few steps later, I came across the Indian Woman. When I approached her, she was using the Frisbee as a hat or some sort of shading device. But for some reason as I got closer, she re-invented it as a begging device for a hand out. Such colorful people in so many puddles on this day.
It was time to leave and I walked past the tall grasses that reminded me, “You are now on a beach… and have had many puddles behind you.”