Monday, September 9, 2013


They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

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Chapter Twelve: Moon

Moon was once a lifeguard. Her older sister had been a forester
and later joined the piece corp. They were a Venice Beach family
from as far back as the late 1950's. Moon was what they now call
old school, she baked pies, mixed her own essential oils, her special
patchouli, sandalwood, mint and lemon with a touch of rosemary,
was especially popular. She sewed quilts, grew her own tomatoes,
and occasionally imbibed a few herbs, but only for ceremonial
purposes. One late Summer or was it early Fall ? Moon had been
working the coast as a junior lifeguard, she was still in high school
when a giant swell hit the Southern California beach side. It was
strange to have such big waves so early in the season, tourists, locals,
amateurs and professional wave riders all came out to try their luck.
Every registered junior lifeguard was called in to watch the beaches.
Already several kids had drowned along the coast. From Swami's surf
spot down South, to the County line up North, there were reports of
near drownings, accidents of all sorts. Moon had only been working
officially a few weeks when the waves hit Venice Beach. She knew
the locals were not going to sit this one out, swells in Venice were
gigantic. Boards were being split in half by the pylons along the
piers most notorious break. It was not unusual to see even the
most seasoned locals washed up along the shore with a wound of
some sort. Some of these boys considered it a right of passage.
One of them would soon become her most intimate companion.

Mickey was not the best surfer in his crew, in fact he was most
likely the worst. But he had guts. No one could judge him on
style or bravery, he just needed a few more seasons in the water.
Having been more of a so-called, grease monkey, rather than a
beach bum, delayed his experience as a kid. While his dad was
still around, he could always be found just about two or three
yards from wherever and or whatever the old man was doing.
Usually, fixing someone's Harley. These were not regular motor
cycles, per se, these were incredibly complicated Rube Goldberg
type contraptions that just happened to also be vehicles. Were
talking about choppers with chrome beyond chrome, candy coated
paint jobs with more coats of varnish than anyone could imagine.
These were complete works of art. Upon inspection, it was hard to
believe anyone actually rode the things. There were a good number
of bikers who actually parked their bikes, inside the house. That
was how important a man's bike was in his life. If their wives or
girl friends ever got jealous of anything, it was seldom another
woman. Time, money, care, pride, attention, all seemed to be
focused on the ride. When Mickey's old man disappeared, he
started hanging out with the older surfers in his neighborhood,
gravitated towards the older brother types, most of them had
been surfing since childhood, many had even started shaping
their own boards and some had gone professional, suffice it to
say, he had some great teachers. But every man rides the waves
alone, having a good teacher only got you so far, in the same way
that having your bike tuned by another man only meant that if it
broke down out on the highway, you might not know how to get
it home yourself. The day Mickey paddled out on eight foot waves
with ten foot swells, none of his pals could teach him the lesson only
mother nature could provide. He dropped in on a wave that was so
powerful, so beautifully shaped, so massive, that it gave him the
ride of his life. People were shouting from the coastline, tourists
took pictures and locals were in awe. And then, he had to pay the
piper, hadn't gaged his exit properly, just by a few seconds too
many, like cinderella, boom, way past midnight pal. The wave
picked him up, about six feet mid-air, swiftly and without warning
slammed his body into the grey sea, he might has well have been
dropped from a roof onto concrete. That was just the beginning,
from there, he was thrust under water, hit the bottom, bounced
back up to the surface and back down again. And then, as if being
spit from the mouth of giant, he was thrust upon the shore, like an
octopus might shoot out the remains of a recent meal. Onlookers
gasped, he was, as they say in the movies, dead in the water. Moon
was the first person to reach him. She lifted his arms, cleared his
breathing canal, pumped his chest three times, and for the first time
in her life, began to push the life force from her body into another
human being. Alternating the three point pressure pushes on
his chest with the air in his lungs, for all of twelve minutes, she
had been taught well. Mickey coughed up a half a gallon of salt
water before coming back to full awareness. Looking up to see
what appeared to be an angel of some sort. He was overcome with
a strange mixture of fear and thankfulness. He reached up like a
child might reach out of a crib, wrapped his arms around Moons
waist and cried. He cried just like a new born baby. She joined him.

Some years later, Mickey would claim that he did the whole
thing on purpose, just to meet her, some of his pals believed
him, but Moon knew better. He had almost died on the beach
that day and she was well aware of his appreciation. Not just
for his actual life, but for all of the other things she was. Moon
was the type of person who completes a man. Respected by
women and admired by men. A lot of people fell for her.
Mickey's family had never been able to deal with the girls he
had dated in the past. But, to his Grandmother, Moon was a
homemaker. To his Mother, Moon was loyal and trustworthy.
To his little sister, Moon was supportive, caring and didn't
judge her for being such a tomboy. She fit right into their
family. The only thing she had to give up was being a lifeguard.
Mickey became extremely insecure. He thought that maybe
everyone who she might save would have the same reaction
he did and begged her to quit. She eventually, a Summer
and a half later, granted his immature request, on one
condition, they move in together. She moved in with him
and together, they looked after his grandmother. Mickey's
Mom was often on tour with bands during those early years.
So Moon and Mickey were like parents to his little sister.
Grandma added a bit of old world spice to the mix. She
was the original rebel. Grandma had opened one of the
first and longest running bookstores in the beach area.
Moon started working there part time and slowly began
to manage the place. It was one of those historical literary
spots where all the beat poets had read their work. There
were two literary institutes in Venice beach, Beyond Baroque
and their store. European writers, New York writers, San
Francisco writers, Chicago writers, all had done readings
there through the years. From Henry Miller to Arthur Miller,
it was a great place to buy a book and had a long standing
tradition with edgy, respected authors of all sorts. Moon
became a familiar fixture. She was the go - to - Gal.

When the phone rang, Moon answered it, she had been ringing
up a couple from Europe who had heard about the bookstore
from their hometown of Paris France. There had been a poster
in the window of a bookstore up the street from their apartment
called Shakespeare and Company. The two stores were like sisters.
They shared an equal history and created an unofficial exchange
program. Moon didn't know what to think of Mickey's quick and
deliberate statement that his dad was alive and he would call her
back later. She had never met the old man and wondered what it
would do to Mickey. For years, that was all he talked about. His
old man this, his old man that. She packed up the couples five
vintage paperback novels and hoped he'd call back. All of the
stories she had heard through the years about Mickey's infamous
dad began to sift through her mind. She knew that everything
was about to change. The entire life they had built up together.
Moon got the sense that a new storm was about to hit the beach,
she could only hope that Mickey wouldn't paddle out the way he
tended to do when things got crazy. How many times could she
save him ? When she got home that night Mickey and the old
man sat at their table in their kitchen. Talk about Shakespeare
and company. Moon got the sense that a king had returned and
a prince was handing back his crown. She didn't like it one bit.
" Moon, this is my father." His Old man looked up, smiled and
said, with his trademarked sarcasm, "The Son and the Moon ?
Now all I need are the stars and I'm good to go." He took a shot.
Moon tilted her head and quietly stared like a cat might look at
a sparrow. She smiled & poured herself a shot, " Heres to you."


LA :