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Bookshelf – Leaves on the Beach

Bookshelf – Leaves on the Beach

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“The sea is kicking up like a nervous Thoroughbred in the starting gate”.

The Dawn Patrol – Don Winslow

I’m a keen bookworm and beach person, enjoying the occasional find such as unusual shells and the odd forlorn-looking flip-flop, making up stories about them as I walk.

On a recent foray, beach tote over my shoulder, I strode past waiters laying tables: white tablecloths, polished cutlery, vases of flowers, happy music in the background.  It all looked very civilized.

I reached the empty ‘moonscape’ end of the beach, where I spotted some scattered pages from a novel and started reading. I picked up more excerpts as I walked, trying to guess the author, wondering about the book’s own ’story’ and who its owner might be. Aha, mystery!

Then the rain started to bucket down. I ran for cover, still reading.

“The leaves lay sodden in the rain… the Café des Amateurs was crowded and the windows misted over from the heat and the smoke inside. It was a sad, evilly run café where the drunkards of the quarter crowded together.” Aha, Paris, not Sharkey’s!

As the author sat writing, a girl came into the café, “She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin.”  Aha, romance!

Back in Tamarindo, my only companions were a man and his horse and some tourists. “Oh my Gawd, look at our table!” The pleasant café scene now resembled the ballroom from The Titanic après le deluge, mais sans floating musicians.

Searching for my phone like a frantic bag lady, I called my husband who was basking in the warm, dry, smug glow of the internet, blissfully unaware of my plight as he fired off another pre-election missive across the ethers.

Where’s my ether? This isn’t “Rue Cardinal Lemoine with its horse drawn cylinders looking like Braque paintings.” I grumbled as I stumbled down Calle Cardinal, daring cars to send me hurtling into the ditch.

Got home to a deadline notice from John Quam for short story submissions.  So, I got the sodding leaves out of my bag and quoted my mystery author: “Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Well that’s easy: “Ernest Hemingway I’m not!”

Quotes from A Moveable Feast –  Ernest Hemingway, published posthumously in 1964

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