Collapse the Waveform

no more haters

The smell of the sea rose up from the bay and floated out to the park. Alli sat on a bench facing the water. Down the hill, lay a field and in the distance, the boardwalk. Alli could hear the carnival games: whack-a-mole, dunk tank, test your strength.

Clouds gathered for the afternoon thunderstorm. Some pigeons walked around nearby. They inspected a bag of popcorn dropped by one of the teenagers, who had recently passed by, carrying a giant beach towel and an umbrella.

The broad leaves of the trees swayed with the wind. The scent of the grass mingled with that of the water, teeming and receding, far out there, on the horizon.

Alli checked her watch. She was supposed to meet Nealy here today. She slapped a mosquito buzzing near the back of her neck. The bench was in the shade, but the temperature was still rising.

A kid went by on roller-skates, walking a platoon of dogs. The old man with the ice cream cart headed down to the shore. People lay on blankets, sunning, staring at the sky, reading paperback novels. Someone in a beret stopped by the water fountain, checked his phone and blanched.

Alli got up and walked down the path, lined with a canopy of trees. Their leaves fanned out, creating oscillating shadows. A folk band practiced off to the side, on a portable stage. She walked under one of the park’s scenic bridges, the air nice and cool, for a few seconds. A summer science class gathered around a hot dog stand.

Outside the park, and on the street, stood a Sephora and a Chinese food restaurant. Alli headed to Cafe Nero and ordered an espresso. She watched the cars stop and go outside the window. The cumulus formation was nearer now. Even inside, Alli could feel the air tensing up, despite the summer sunshine. Couples strolled by, arm-in-arm, at eye-level.

A bolt of electricity ran through Alli – there was Nealy – together, with another woman, a woman in a print dress, laughing about an unheard joke.

“If I was with someone, how would you feel?”

Alli nearly knocked over the cup and the saucer. She looked around and Nealy was standing right beside her. She looked back at the street – but the look-alike and her mate had already turned the corner.

“I thought I would find you here,” Nealy said, sitting down.

“It was too hot,” Alli said.

“You don’t spend too much time outdoors.”

Alli shook her head, “How was Shanghai?” On the coffeehouse speakers, one of Elvis’s Hawaii songs came on.

“Hot. Like here. Healthy food though.”

“Lots of good IPOs?”

“Could have been better,” Nealy said, “But fewer shell companies.” The waiter brought Nealy her coffee.

“Are you going to stay here now?”

“I will probably go back to San Francisco, but will still divide my time between there, and New York.”

They watched the lights turn from green to red, ‘Walk’ icon to ‘Don’t Walk’ icon.

“Will you stay in New York?” Nealy asked.

“For the time being,” Alli said. Her second coffee arrived.

“Where will you go next?” Nealy asked, looking at her.

“I haven’t thought that far,” Alli looked out the glass. The clouds hovered over the skyscrapers. It had begun to drizzle.

The rain started, slowly at first, but then began to pummel the sidewalk. Pedestrians ran, covering their heads with newspapers. The pale orange clouds sunk lower, heavy in the downpour.

The two of them sat there, watching the thunderstorm, listening to the low hiss of the espresso machine.

magic pool


“You Should Close the Door” – Craft Spells

“Love Somebody Else” – Maceo Plex & Jon DaSilva, feat. Joi Cardwell

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64: 02 Andante – Mendelssohn

Laminated Heart


Waves lapped against the ferry. Alli stood at the railing, taking in the spray, watching the silver ocean. The island in the distance, loomed like a turtle’s shell, materializing out of the mist.

The ferry was unusually packed this Sunday. Most people were inside the cabin, enduring the swaying boat. The boat reached the docks of the island. Main Street stretched into the distance, but most of the land was shrouded in thick, black forest, ancient pines.

Alli stepped off the boat and headed down the metal ramp. It was a cloudy day in Maine. Around the Main Street was the usual assortment of shops: ice cream parlor, Starbucks, arts and crafts cubby hole, record store. Alli walked down the sidewalk, toward the woods and the mountains.

Once on the trail, she could breathe in the scent of the trees. Early morning frost still hung in the air. Fog still circled the peaks. Mushrooms were everywhere in the soggy soil.

Alli hiked the path. Pine needles dusted the dirt. Squirrels ran through the nettles. She finally looked up and saw where she was headed: a nondescript cabin, with a wisp of smoke rising from the chimney.

Climbing the stone steps, Alli found herself at the oaken door. She lifted the iron knocker, only to let go of it as Kaan yanked open the door. Kaan wore a cashmere sweater and jeans; she ushered Alli in.

Kaan had made scrambled eggs and toast. She took Alli’s coat. They sat at the table, replete with spindly legs, in the breakfast nook facing the valley. Everything was still; even the birds were quiet.

They sipped the coffee, inhaling the flowery scent of fresh logs burning in the wood stove.

“Will you ever move back?” Alli asked.

“No,” Kaan said.

Alli looked out the bay window, “You could find a lot of inspiration out here.”

“I’ve tried to write a novel many times,” Kaan said, “I keep rewriting it.”

“It’s OK to revise. I imagine the scene here is pretty small though, right?”

“It is,” Kaan answered, “They do some poetry readings at the arts and crafts store. There is a community college a couple of miles inland.”

They put on heavy overalls and rubber boots. Kaan drove them out to the small lake, not far from the log cabin. They stood in the water, fly fishing. The clouds hung over the treetops. There were no bites.

“Do you miss Aspen?” Alli wondered.

“Do you miss Dallas?” Kaan responded.

They lapsed back into silence. Kaan reeled in a trout, glimmering in the pale daylight.

Kaan pulled out a cast-iron pan and a grill from her truck. They made a fire and sat around it, watching the fish roast, nudging it silently with sticks. Beyond the clouds, the sun began its journey to the other side of the earth.

“One day, you’re going to have to go back,” Alli said.

Kaan said nothing. They sat there, into the night, watching the dance of the flames.



“floating” – badsummer

“When We Were Young” – Adele

“Our Real is Real” – Typical Girls

“California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas