Beach Bar Night i photo and digital art montage ©2013 Michael DickelDigital Art

Evening—flash (?)

2013 Short Story MonthMay is Short Story month. So, below, my fifth post in something maybe like fiction. I don’t know quite what this is, I think flash (fiction? experimental writing?). This is new work for me (other than the first paragraph of the first one, Tomorrow, which was a response to a prompt from Meg Pokras on FaceBook. Her micro-fiction is amazing, and it’s worth visiting Meg’s website here.) As this work has been flying off my keyboard each day, your comments, thoughts, questions, ideas all are welcome.

Please leave your response before you go. Thank you.


Time slows as light escapes and shadowed night falls over her face. Waves glitter moonlit sonatas in soporific rhythms of heart beat, lost sleep, run deep in memory. Wet sand shines. The malt whiskey mellow mood soaks into wind whispering patterns of hush, hush, hush. The bearded woman wishes for her nomadic life, no one’s wife wishes as fervently.

She floats in her beach chair photo digital art montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

She floats in her beach chair
photo digital art montage
©2013 Michael Dickel

Neutralized like lost neutrinos whose loose cable sped them beyond light, she floats in her beach bar chair, feet digging dry, warm sand. Dinner din rises, falls, rises, falls from inside and outside, all around her the social groupings of ritual meeting, eating, drinking, mating. This world whirls faster through space than she can comprehend. Physics unravels the surrounding universes.

Night fall, an illusion. It rises up in the shadow of the earth around them. Out beyond shadow or illusion, light remains. Moon reflects evidence, an occasional passing satellite agrees, the spots of planets, if she could recall which and where, concur. Time measures itself in movement through space while flying particles imagine themselves still. Like her smooth-faced lover who so engaged dance that he seemed still, the world flowing around him impossibly in motion.

He did move. Into her life. Into her house. And, now, out of it. Gone. Like the hitchhiker long ago, and the man with the long ponytail before him.

Like 1967, the Summer of Love finished and gone. She stood on a street in the Haight one day, watching people. Then she went to Golden Gate Park for the funeral. Men, or probably boys, waved top hats and odd clothes from other eras, bright clothes tie-dyed last week. Women, or likely girls like her, showed scads of skin, tie-dye coverings, with vintage wear mixed and matched, furs even. Everyone strung out with beads. Long flowing hair. Afros. The coffin hand-painted, a sign on the side: Summer of Love. Behind it, the corpse of Hippie. The Diggers dug it down to the grounded burial plot, tried to bury it next to money.

Hippie had died, they said. Killed by the media. Overexposed and misrepresented. Time Magazine covered the funeral, photo-spread opportunity. Maybe the counter culture period began here, or perhaps freaks freighted feverish transition into then.

Beach Bar Night i photo and digital art montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

Beach Bar Night i
photo and digital art
montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

Escapades of escaped expression extended from happenings into mediated madness; Hollywood and Madison Avenue caught the wave and surfed into the scene with conspicuous desire for consumption. She watched the mock funeral laugh at itself and joined in; Julia Vinograd blew bubbles in the procession. Someone said Ginsberg had come, but not that she saw.

A boy on stilts walked in the funeral, from the funeral into her life. She circled him on the street, he handed her a joint. Smoke and mirrors present, multimedia wonderment, diamond dream reflection, ghost stories and revelations. Rainbows refracted from his prism glasses. Nothing near but naked skin and slippery sweat. They swam at Muir Beach. They meandered or stumbled through fairytale fog redwoods. One day, he drifted into the riptide and floated down to LA. She climbed a tree and joined a commune. Rumors reached out to her, reveling in revelations that he followed the Dead around the world, stilt walking the crowds and selling on the side.

Beach bar community buzzes, bees making honey. She follows the flower trail out of the whiskey haze and picks her path home. The gully crossed, she winds her way under the wind, tight into the pattern now, checkerboard laid bare, check and mate. Matter never quite coalesced from the rambling energy randomly dominating her. She makes her way into the place, a sort of shelter sorting her out near the beach but away from everything, equidistant from the sun.

Shaking dinner from the kitchen, she eats what she wants and no more. Perhaps that is the pattern, she reflects. Then she swims into sleep on the sofa.

Beach Bar Night ii photo digital art montage ©2013 Michael Dickel

Beach Bar Night ii
photo digital art montage
©2013 Michael Dickel

The series, Chicken and Egg, has six installments for now, in this order:

Tomorrow | Today | Morning | Afternoon | Evening | Yesterday

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