The San Joaquin Valley is an endless canvas. Fields of emerald stretch for miles. There’s a cow. Gone. Sheep drift and settle like clouds. Gone. Wind whips my face. Palm trees appear as if out of place. I inhale the sweet smell of citrus.

California.

Is this Heaven? I don’t believe in God. Somewhere else there’s a war. What’s this holy feeling pressing down on me? If God exists, he’s hiding in those mountains. I’ll pray for all you suburban squares and do gooders.

This is truth. The southern sky  laces crimson before it turns dark. At this pace, we’ll roll into town ahead of nightfall. Hills bank and the road snakes on. Up and down, up and down. This is life.

My buddy Jack, shouts above the Indian’s drone, “Long, hot summer ahead.” 

At the last moment, he’d dropped his tools and joined me on the road. People don’t ask too many questions. We travel light and fast.

I nod. Freedom, man.

There’s no itch for smokes or shots. Cruising an open road is enough of a high. We’ll find a tavern where the drinks are flowing, somewhere after sunset.

TBC

~Summer of ’51, ‘tidal prose’

Draft 4

R. Jackson

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4 Comments on “Summer of ’51

    • Thank you wordsfromanneli.
      I’m beginning to rewrite, reorganize, and fill in the ‘gaps.’ This is a draft, a piece of a larger scene. I’m researching the era, the chat, the vibe, in an attempt to authenticate details. Some readers might question the character’s ‘voice.’ Roy Jackson is a complicated and clever character. He’s articulate and intelligent, seemingly from a simple background. The reader is never certain of who he is. The war ‘somewhere else’ is the Korean War. It’s a time before kids and lawnmowers, boycotts and bombs (Vietnam war). Not sure how these chapters will turn out, however, the era is a fascinating study.

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