Write about something familiar with the point of view of a stranger
SQUARE ONE BY KINE FALL
Walking out onto the sidewalk I feel a warm misty breeze blow over me. The air tastes like salt, and I feel as though I’m in another dimension altogether.
Something inside me spoke out, and got me on a bus and this far away from home. So far from the sheltered desert that I could actually see a body of water in front of me. Why am I so eager all of a sudden?
It could be all the letters we receive back home from my brother, one month in China the next two in Europe. In each place a piece of his heart left behind with another of his lovers.
“Viva l’amour Wish you were here! Love, Peter”
That was the only message I could save from being burnt in the fire pit with all the others by mom and dad. If they saw me here now, I’d be in it next.
I decide to follow the general crowd towards the water and find myself standing in a grand intersection. Girls in bikinis on cruiser bikes glide by, skateboards that are extra long zoom past, and groups of people my age dressed in shorts and sandals yell and chatter about some thing called “The circle” .
There is a giant string of letters that go from one building to another on the beachside of this intersection and it reads, VENICE. I finally feel like a real explorer , my brother will be thrilled to know I have made it all the way to Italy!
The lights change , I start crossing normally but other people are walking in the middle of the road!
“ Wait stop!!” I yell out. But they don’t even bother to turn around.
There are hundreds of people walking along this concrete path beside the beach. On one side of the path there’s small shops and on the other, some vendors and side shows. I had never seen anything like this before.
The sun beats down on tanned and glistening skin of a man on wheels playing a crazy electric guitar with a turban on his head. I watch him roll by and he pulls out a shirt, trying to sell it to me.
Outside of one of the buildings is a woman with bright blue hair swallowing swords in front of some stairs that leads to something called a freak show.
“We’ve got two headed turtles, two headed dogs, snakes and yes even a two headed girl! All live come on down!” Some man with a top hat yells from underneath an umbrella.
The sound of these oddities make me squirm and walk the other way. I notice a large group of people on the beach in a grand circle of sorts which takes me back to the commotion I heard earlier. ‘This must be the circle’ I say to myself, and get my camera ready to make the perfect postcard to send to Peter. I run out towards the group.
Men and women of all races and social groups are dancing and making music, laughing and having fun together! I cant believe it! They are actually in unison and not fighting at all. The closest thing we have to this back home is a family dinner and usually there is indeed a fight or two by the end.
The beats sound slightly off tune but that does not keep the wild women from shaking their asses in the center. Every once in a while this man with a whistle in his mouth and a drum strapped in front of his crotch comes out to pull a girl from the crowd to dance in the center, smacking his drum extra loudly for her. I snap a couple photos.
I wonder why it doesn’t smell like salty air anymore now that I am closer to the water. Instead there is another smell in the air that Is completely foreign to me… I am guessing that it could be the kind of tobacco that people are smoking near me. It must be a European thing. I feel idiotic just standing on the side with my Sunday dress on. I have nothing to wear besides the clothes mother picks out for me. Meanwhile all I see are bouncing titties and jiggling flesh, even this old man next to me has some shorts on underneath his Jacket and tie. After much observation I realize they are actually only his underwear.
Some cute guy walks up to me saying,
“Hey you’re not from around here are you?”
Obviously I am not. But I stay polite in hopes of figuring out what I got myself into. I am so impressed and relieved they speak English so well here.
“No, I’m not. Are you from around here?” I push my hair back running my fingers through them, and make a sort of scowl, like the hot babes I see in my friends magazines back home.
He seems to react well to this and is moving close enough for the sides of our arms to brush. Then he hands over a small cigarette to me,
“Yeah I live close to here, want a hit? You smoke right?”
All I can think about is what will happen to me when my parents find me. Then I look up into his eyes and I completely forget what was on my mind.
“Oh, yeah sure I do thanks!”
I try taking it from him in an effortless way, but instead it ends up falling in the sand. We both bend down to pick it up and I finally salvage it.
“Oops” I giggle stupidly.
I try and hold it like I’ve seen others around here doing it, with two fingers and to the side of my mouth. I take a real deep puff and pass it back to him, inhaling it all. All of a sudden my mind is racing, and my body sways.
“Woah, that was a killer hit you okay?”
His hand is on my shoulder and I feel every nerve in my body reacting to the touch like a ripple.
“Uhm yes, what kind of cigarette is that? Marlboro or Camel?”
I am pretty sure I am speaking normally but in my mind it sounds much slower. Whatever I said causes him to laugh hysterically at me like I am a fool and I surely feel like one right about now.
“You never had weed before? I’m sorry, I guess you really aren’t from here”
He is terribly handsome when he smiles this way. One side of his mouth perks up in a cute menacing grin and his teeth glisten in the light. He puts his hands behind his dark hair and stretches, showing off his lean stomach.
My body is involuntarily moving to this new rhythm the drummers have taken on and it sounds so much different than before. I realize now that this circle is perceived different by the insiders than the outsiders. I am now an insider.
This guy, takes my arm and leads me over to where his friends are sitting and suddenly, I am not wearing my Sunday clothes anymore only what’s underneath.
“Hey guys, she’s never been high before!”
He points up at me and I turn around to face him, shaking my yet-to-be-grown boobies in his face. I am having a blast but my mind is no longer mine. The sun is setting, an intense blast of energy fills my whole body from the people around me, and the sky, and the sound of the drums beating with my wild heart.
The man with the whistle spots me and drags me into the circle. As he starts to pound away on his drum beckoning my ass to jiggle like a snake charmer with a basket python, a helicopter begins to hover and circle us! There is only one reason this happens back home, and that is when a raid ensues. At the sight and sound of this I rush back to gather my clothes, the guys all laugh hysterically waving up at the helicopter and whooping.
“You all are insane! That’s the police!”
I don’t bother to wait or explain the situation to them, I just book it back to the grassy area in front of the freak show, and put my clothes back on. As I am doing this, unbeknownst to me a cop is watching from behind.
Soon as a finish fixing my hair, he walks up to me.
“Excuse me miss, have you had anything to drink this evening?” He shines the LED flashlight into my eyes and I cringe.
“No sir, haven’t had anything nope. I’m not from around here, I was just leaving. To go, back. To go home , yep back home for me!”
I can’t stop jabbering away, all the while I feel that the more I talk the less intoxicated I will sound. But this was not the case.
Like every worthwhile adventure, I end up in the back of a police vehicle.
Days later when I finally return home, I am surprised to see my brother at the front porch awaiting me. He gives me a great big hug and confesses to me that he has never left the country himself but was only across the country working with green screens at an Art school and just got kicked out for abusing them. I wasn’t even upset that he lied, all I could think was I finally have a one up on my big brother!
I tell him about my awesome adventure in Venice, Italy but then he bursts that bubble too.
So now here we are, stuck at square one.