Dave Rice 11:30 a.m., Dec. 9
Dry sand erupted beneath my flip flops as I trailed the dogs down to the waterline at dog beach. Spadefuls crunching and scattering like handfuls of rice on a hardwood floor, a few grains detaching from a the herd
Off like the wind, paws slapping the wet mucky quicksand along the shoreline, the rising tide receding into the horizon scattering crystal bubbles in a random pattern overlapping and repeating as they slalomed across each other’s tracks .
Tiny knatty insects diving into ribbons of kelp washed ashore during the last high tide, round and round like a miniature tornado. The pups joyfully leap into the spongy slippery piles of ocean greens and roll around wriggling their bodies until the pungent smell permeates their fur. Then they are off, greeting the other canine visitors, dashing into the pack with uninhibited yelping and whooping, veering south to the abandoned Starbucks muffin someone left behind. Score!
Footsteps above me, creaking planks giving way as others cross over the bridge to the cove, miniature waterfalls of the gritty sparkly sand creating intricate designs on my belly through the gaps as I nap. Under the boardwalk.
Just across the highway, ponies are exercising, trotting in the morning sun, warming up for the races later in the day, hooves slapping the earth with a muffled thud , a metallic echo bouncing off the hills behind me when the shoes hit a rock or a random piece of a bridle discarded by a careless jockey.
Nightmare from the night before, footsteps behind me in the wrong part of town, marking time, matching my pace, speeding up as we enter the commercial district. Workers gone for the day. Bodies, poles, cars, buildings throwing shadows, heart pounding, the jarring sound of static on a car radio as I cross the intersection, getting closer now, and out of reach of the sirens that could bring safety to my night. Scanning the sidewalk for shelter, a phone booth, an open door, a coffee shop, a kindly stranger.
Passing a old warehouse the sound of flamenco dancers staccato rhythms on vintage floors create a hollow repetitive symphony. Crossing diagonally the clicking clacking pounding, scraping, bruising controlled violence of the river dancers with shiny cheeks and grinning, leering freckle faced masks. Shaking walls, trembling windows launching bass vibrations into the air like a low rider cruising for trouble in East LA.
And then, a hush , leather toe shoes brushing the floor, landing perfectly, gracefully, delicately,deliberately, talking flight. Tendons screaming, muscular calves strain as skill coaxes the body into graceful, precise positioning to be embraced by a partner.
And so it began...