The Green Flash - Poem by Morgan Michaels
'There is also the pink flash and the blue flash', explained Tom.
They were sitting in the Santa Fe, at a table covered with red-checked oil cloth. Before each stood a drink in different stages of consumption. As usual, Tom had a dark green bottle of Heineken; Billy drank punch; Mat, something gin-based, Cal, a Cuba-Libre. From time to time a young French waiter came by to see if anyone needed anything.
After an afternoon at the beach they'd showered the sand and sun-screen down the drain and now felt tired in a good way and very relaxed.
'Napkins, si'l vous plait and some salt', snapped Billy, evilly, his second visit. He didn't explain why salt. The waiter frowned but his face soon fell back into implacable folds and he left. Satisfied, Billy re-joined the talk.
'Where were we'?
'The green flash. Sometimes blue, sometimes pink', prompted Mat.
Tom was talking, telling them more about the green flash- when, for instance, it was typically seen, under what conditions and in which latitudes.
Billy was skeptical. He doubted there was such a thing as the green flash and thought Tom made the whole thing up. He'd believe it if he saw it. Why had he never seen a green flash, in his whole life? And why was the green flash so often seen over cocktails? Was Tom 'making them walk', as the French say?
As could be guessed, their aim was to see the green flash. Tom said it appeared above the sun like a Paraclete, a moment or so before setting. Tom was a connoisseur, seconded by Cal by only a few sightings. This was because they'd lived on a houseboat and sailed practically all around the world. He claimed to have seen it a dozen times or so. Cal had seen it over half that many times They lived in Daytona, which helped. The best place to look for it today, Tom decided, after giving the matter some thought, was the Santa Fe, which, sitting atop a hill, had the needed height. Also, the quest could be facilitated by cocktails, there. These made you patient and suggestible- traits needed for viewing the green flash, which often took time and vigilance to see. The cocktails were secondary, of course.
The terrace sat high over the harbor facing north and west, in plain view of the sunset. It was was rimmed around by rhododendron trees that cork-screwed up and caught the evening light. It was built on stilts rigged out over a ravine, but differed radically from the main room, recommending coziness and privacy over chatter and the clatter of billiard balls. Palm trees shimmered far below.The evening sea stretched away below like a calm, gray coverlet, smooth and free of white-caps. Just now it...
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