Three Shore Mornings

Sometimes a walk is just a walk, but sometimes it becomes something else.

On a morning walk I come across a man in a wheelchair, covered in a blanket. As I pass he gazes up at me and mumbles, so I stop. It is in the high 30s at this hour and, although he is covered, he seems confused. He tells me he has no idea how he got there, he just woke up outside on the street, covered in a blanket. I ask if I can call someone for him and he says yes. The police. So I call the police and describe the situation...a man in a wheelchair, appears to be disoriented, does not seem to be injured. They ask for his personal information which I am able to get from him. His name is Eric, he is 40. They ask me to wait with him until they arrive and I do.  I recognize the young officer from a broken-store-window-event last year. "He has a warrant out of Sacramento," he tells me under his breath, "do you know him?" "No," I say, "he just asked me to call the police." "Well, you don't need to stick around then." And I am dismissed. "Good luck, Eric," I say as I turn away.

I have just stepped out of the apartment and have stopped to put in my ear buds. The neighborhood is quiet, dark and still. I am set to walk now, gaze to my left in the direction I will be going and in the black sky above the apartments across the street, a large shooting star falls straight down from the heavens. In its fall it brightens briefly to a bright white and then begins to disintegrate, smaller golden particles breaking away as it disappears behind the dark buildings. I expect to hear a splash or noise because it seemed to be falling directly into the ocean. I hurry out towards the beach but when I get to the corner, all signs of it were gone. I wasn't expecting to see anything, but maybe I was. I feel like the lone witness to something incredible. I look to see if there are any other souls out at that hour who may have seen it, but there are none. The shooting star was mine alone. 

It is the kind of shovel handle that has the perpendicular hand hold, like a snow shovel. The handle is there, in the movie on the screen, and it has a ribbon attached to it. The ribbon is being blown back because the shovel handle is moving. All you can see is the handle and ribbon and behind it, in the quickly approaching fore and background, snow and sky. I am mesmerized by this silent, moving, image. The screen is part of a TV in a storefront window on Second Street. The image sticks in my head, a metaphor perhaps, for my own foolhardy trajectory through life, a ride on the business end of a shovel, down a snowy hill, full of bumps and adventure, destination unknowable.


Tim Bulone is an ardent observer of life on the swirling blue marble. He creates fine art and canvas prints which he likes to sell from time to time at http://www.MyFamilyArt.com He is an early morning pedestrian in Belmont Shore, where he resides with his wife and a variety of seemingly intelligent pets.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nancy Wride (Editor) January 11, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Thanks for explaining that, tiny :D
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 13, 2013 at 06:47 PM
All of this thread shows what Patch can be..just so lovely and personal. Back in the 40's when I a boy, I used to "sneak" out of the house..I had an exterior door in my bedroom. I used to take bike rides..my secret missions. Not a car one..soo quiet..all windows darkened...deep and damp perfumes from the night blooming things. A world of shadows some long and probing, others just a blob. Sometimes, I rode a mile so I could pause outside of the house where twin girls lived and were in my class. I was crazy about them. The only things that moved in the wee hours were an occasional cat on his own night mission. I felt like I owned the night...just me and the mysteries cloaked in darkness. On the way home, I used to stop at an apartment complex and go up the stairs to the second floor. There, in the window on one end of the hall, a little green glass man. Mr Wizard Wick who sent his aroma out and around. He seemed glad to see me. I told him good night and went on home. The sheets were still warm and no one knew..
Timothy Bulone January 13, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Thanks tiny, I'm old enough to say I loved that song!!!
Timothy Bulone January 13, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Robert, I believe YOU should be writing for the Patch. This was a lovely reminiscence. I have always felt like I owned the world in the early hours of the morning. Sounds like you know the feeling. Thank you.
Nancy Wride (Editor) January 13, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Robert, you need to be writing for us right now. Email me at nancy.wride@patch.com and I will have you set up in 5 minutes, and you can blog as frequently as you are able, but it is all up to you.
tiny January 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM
I like to hear his stories to. I remember driving every year to Texasin the 60s on those long roads - check at oil. But back further is even more interesting.
tiny January 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Sorry for the death of your wife. You seem to have been real close.
Mike King January 15, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Tim, you've posted some great mental photos. I like how you 'observe and not just see' (to backward quote Sherlock Holmes). Thanks.
Timothy Bulone January 15, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Thanks Mike!
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 16, 2013 at 07:02 AM
My greatest fear? Being mis-understood. I love to write; I hate attention...my name always popping up....gives a false impression...I do not write to a subject, I write to a soul...could be anyone..some where..I try to spell correctly, but am more intersted in the spell. Some where along the line, I became a sort of mystic...As a child, I found certain places where there was an identification with something there..it was powerful.....It was a song and played in the key of lonely. I called them "Hot Spots". It was a slow train coming, but I found deep truth in the opposites of the World..some might say swimming against the tide...It was so very strange..the more there was the less there was..and vice versa. I remember one day when I went to see the poppies in the Spring..Tehachipi..yes..Tehachipe...young I was, but learning fast. I walked out into a field of Poppies..thousands of them...so many,.how could any one of them get my attention. Then, God had great and secret favor towards me...He directed me to one particular flower and He whispered to me.."See that little flower,,pull it off and the World will come to an end." Why to me did He share such a secret? I did not pull the flower off..and we are all still here,
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 16, 2013 at 03:34 PM
I was informed that because I live out of state, I cannot write for this site. I understand as this patch is all about where you live and what people THERE are saying. I will try this: I carry Long Beach with me and have for over fifty years....Hint...The Nu Pike..both arms....Have a nice day....Please twist Nancy's arm :) the b
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 16, 2013 at 03:49 PM
This is cheating...piggy back on Tim..."I aint heavy, I'm your brother...We lived in Glendale in the 40's and every Summer, my parents drove the old Mother Road to Okla to see family. I had a great imagination..I could see facial expressions in car grills. Smiles, frowns, pain. The vendors made much out of crossing the Mojave Desert in the Summer time. Signs: "Caution, three hundred miles of Desert ahead. Skull and cross bones to boot. The secret to getting out alive appeared to be the Backflush for your car radiator. I did not like the sound of backflush...in Barstow, we had a backflush done on our car. I could not watch..The hood was up and a surgeon was bending over the motor. Steam and water every where and the grill was screaming in pain...This was nothing less than an automotive colonic irrigation...I prayed for our car ! People talked in whispers..one wise old sage revealed in a hushed tone "We cross the Desert at night. Somehow, the car survived and so did we.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 16, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Tim.hang on, we are almost there...Norton St was replete with all sorts of kids including bullies who like to scare six year olds such as myself. I was the new kid on the block, and it didn't take me long to figure out I needed to get close to someone as there is strength in numbers. I chose Jacky M across the street. He had two brothers and one day Jack got mad at Tom and called him a 'son of a bitch" I had never heard that before...sounded like royalty, so, wanting Jacky to like me real quick, I agreed with him out loud. "You are right, Jacky, he is a son of a bitch. His very understanding Mother was within ear shot and she came over to me and asked if I knew what that meant. I said...uh..son of a king...prince ??? After she told me, I wanted to disappear. But Jacky liked me. As for Tom..just a distant tolerance.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 18, 2013 at 10:18 PM
At first rebuke, I will obey ! My maternal grandparents lived in McAlester, Ok where my Mother and two sisters and brother,Ray also grew up. Fred Swanson was a dairy farmer and had a small herd of Cows. This was back in the 1920's. Several years ago, I visited their old home and it had been fixed up quite abit, however, the giant Oak just outside the back of the house was still there. I remember as a little boy hearing the Winter Wind whistle throug the branches.My Mother oncwe told me that her brother, Ray, had nailed a horse shoe to that old tree. On my visit, I talked to the owner and related that story. He had lived there for years and said he had never seen a horse shoe nailed to the tree. I asked If i could come back and look at the tree to see if I could find it. He agreed and seemed curious himself, lest he had missed something. We looked and looke and could find no horse shoe. I decided that about eighty years could have put it up abit higher...and..it was still there..way up. He asked if I wanted it and I jumped at the chance. He brought out a double length ladder and I climbed up and gave a pull on the shoe. It seemed a little hesitant to give up its home for eighty years, but it did come out. Long, rusty square nails...in my hands. It now hangs over our front door.One of the cows was number one in pecking order...she was the boss..my horse shoe might have belonged to Dallas.
Timothy Bulone January 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM
What a wonderful story, Robert!
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Thank you, Tim: I have heard it said that when a person is obsessed about sharing his life, it is from a premonition that his earthly trek is nigh unto the end. Sort of a "Mamma, put my badge in the ground, I cant use it any more"...Now, that old barn of long ago. I visited McAlester a few times long after the dairy business was history. The kids were grown and gone..lots of things gone, but the barn was hanging on for dear life. Leaning,covered with vines. No further use but to remind us of..things. On a hot Summer's day...I could still catch a whiff of cow manure and hay. The only sound was a buzzing of a few flies...the only light were the shafts of light streaming in between the boards...the old doors giving a groan from breeze of air...Dust particles just floating around and having their moment of glory when they burst into a silver sparkle in the shafts of light, only to disappear..waiting their next turn. Many things gone..the baseball games when the McAlester Rockets played Duncan Okla...The dusty road in front of 208 East Polk..the water truck spraying water so the traffic would not stir up dust. The little urchins dancing in the spray from the truck. This was a big deal for the town..their boys on the field. The shaggers looking to catch a foul ball..listening for the crack of a bat and seeing the little white pill rising into the air. The distant thunderstorm flickering like a Japanese lantern...These are a few of the things I love.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 19, 2013 at 01:05 AM
On the road again..no sound but the wind...Beautiful country...the passing farms...A little finger appears on the horizon and grows by the minute a grain silo with life in its belly...that farmer's wealth is safer there than in some bank. The silo towers now,,right beside me..now it grows shorter and shorter...Time works on the road...anticipation. reality, memory....The old farmer is tired from his long day.He sits at his desk and with pencil in gnarled hand he figures..debit..credits..with a good rain, his family will do well for another year.He retires to his bed...and ponders..how Good God has been to them....Hard working, providing, happy, healthy. no bothers.....that will never do..SEND IN THE CLOWNS
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 21, 2013 at 10:54 PM
When you srike someone, you are striking allot of things....Many ways to strike..physically or emotionally, but you are striking....a life, complex...many stories..a moment amongst moments..not knowing..you are striking. The years gone bye, the birthdays, the tears, the joys, the problems that cause a disguise of the real person inside..The insulting words, the sweep of the hand...smites a persons whole universe....one we do not know...
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM
THE WORLD OF THE OBSCURE ... Glendale.1940's. So very dark and silent...the breeze has swept away all pollution and the stars are the brightest now, just before they yield the stage... The jasmine, having dusted the night air is going to sleep, The Morning Glory is just waking up. A lowly snail crawls out from under a rock and begins his slow crawl to where ever strikes his fancy . The family awakens..barthroom..tooth brush..robe and slippers, hot coffee. The highest peaks touched by a burning orange Sky changing by the minute, pale blue, pink, orange, the Sun is back. Dressing for the day, breakfast, kiss good bye, off to work....The housewife with her apron flits about, dishes done, beds made, laundry in progress, vacuuming, dusting, planning the evening meal. The Sun at its Zenith, peak hour...time for lunch..the Sun begins its slide Shadows lengthening now. the office worker looks at the clock..the kids burst out of the class room.... another world that day...a world with in a world...a leaf fell, a cat crept, a breeze sent Mother;s wind chime into a joyful, tinkling dance. Family together at dinner table...Mom did the dishes..junior doing his homework...Family around TV...Kids went to bed...then, the first yawns..TV off.... Bathroom. toothbrush, turning back the sheets...sleep. And the jasmine is back on duty, the stars are twinking .and the snail looks around ambles back to his rock. no worry, every THING on duty. These are the seasonings of life
Panglonymous January 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Good one, Bob. Vivid and rich.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 31, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Thank Pang. I wonder at the passion of leaving things behind..maybe I'm going away. After 30 yrs of being without her..I miss my wife as much today as I did the day she left this World. She died peacefully in her sleep. We were camping people, and our last camping trip was to Monument Valley..Aug. 1986. I had a 4 wheeler with big tires and it could go anywhere. We found a sandy wash cutting through rocky bluffs and we followed it up and found a hollowed out cave of sorts. It was big enough that we drove the truck into it. The floor was fine sand. We stayed there four days..exploring on foot. found a small but deep lake and swam there. Thuinder storms formed and we ran back to the cave drenched in cold rain. We built a fire, broke out the wine and steaks. We played the stereo in truck and danced the night away. She must have known something because she told me that if she pre-deceased me, she wanted to be cremated and her ashes scattered in the sand . Now,many years after she left me....I returned to that cave. She is amongst the sand...her foot prints still in the sand and the ashes from our fire un-disturbed...I have returned here every year since she died. When I scattered her ashes,something came to me and I said it out loud: "To see a World in a grain of sand..and heaven in a wild flower...to hold in your hand all eternity ...which is found in every hour. This is where we walked, this is where we swam...this is where we danced...I miss you so....
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 31, 2013 at 11:24 PM
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 01, 2013 at 02:20 AM
I cannot compete....thank you
Timothy Bulone February 01, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Robert, this was touching and lovely and wistful all at once. I hope you have written or are writing a book that have these recollections of yours?!?
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 01, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Thank You, Tim: I know that these recollections are not what Patch is all about, but most of Patch posts have no value other than to vent the spleen. As long as the editor remains incredibly gracious. I will write more. I went back to that cave again and again as the drive was good for me. My emotional exercises while there were psychadelic. I was under psychiatric care for one year, an inch away from being hospitalized. It took me three years to get over it. I since have re-married and I love Helen as much as I did Blythe. It was a horrible time and I did write during that time and my stories are on another obscure blog slte. Those stories are fictional using real people ..Blythe and I. Some truth; some science fiction. I travel from the present time back the 1952 and live in a house on same street as I did and I get acquainted with myself as a boy and I mentor him. There is one fictional character whose hobby is freiking people out. One time he contacted a Realtor under the guise of looking for a nice. big, house in Glendale. She shows him a four bedroom, four bath house, and he acts bizarre. In one bath, he got down on all fours and started sniffing the pot. . She freiks out and drives him back to her office and made him sit in the back seat..where he sang Ghost Riders In the Sky to her. She ran to her office..leaving him shaking with laughter in the back seat. Thanks again for your support. Bob
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 01, 2013 at 08:17 PM
There was a certain feeling I remember when I was a little boy. Home from school, high fever...feeling so lousy. Bed side table had a glass of water, a straw. vicks, maybe a book that Daddy brought home from work. Fevers were odd sometimes, I recall hearing the kids playing outside..just home from school. They seemed so far away in their learning....what did I miss at achool..will I be able to catch up.? Sometimes at night I would wake up..my fever was up again, but there was something....so very comfortable between the sheets,,feeling so safe..sort of a la la land. Do you recall anything like that ? b
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Good Morning, Tim. I wish to thank you for allowing me YOUR space for a time. I now relinquish your blog site back to its rightful owner.
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 06, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Tim: I joined the diary thing you sent...I looked for T but nothing came up...No entries yet..thnks for the heads up on this site. B
ROBERT E. FISHBACK February 06, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Tim . must have hit wrong key when i entered my username...they have it as fiahbackrobert@gmail.com great word pictures in your posts....Bob
Squigglemom, Trish Tsoi-A-Sue June 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM
A couple of thoughts. LOVE the photo... A laser ray lighting up the sky. A hello to a passing Superhero? Also... I am indirectly reminded of the fellow we passed on our way home from 2nd street last night. My husband remarked: Did you see the homeless guy was talking into a can with an antenna? My response... Was he homeless? Perhaps it's a cool gadget.


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