“I love to walk in Benimussa with Baloney. We take our time, smelling the earth and the trees and when it’s hot, we can smell gas burning in the sun. In Elkins Park, we always had a dog. I grew up with Ginger Peachy and Georgie Girl and they were lovable, but they were family dogs. Baloney has only Izzy and me. She’s great company. She stays with me and runs away and comes back. She always comes back. Baloney’s famous in Benimussa. She can visit someone in the valley on a rainy day with a note tied on her collar in a plastic bag and come back with a message.”
What would Maggie say in 2015?
“The three of us watched Claudia. I had the clear impression though, from the minute we were all together, that Claudia and I were the only ones who mattered. It wasn’t anything she did, it was just a tingle I felt from her, like an electric current. It made little blondish hairs on my arms stand up. Claud’s posture was particularly lousy that day. (Over the years I learned that she slumped out of self-consciousness because she was tall.) She lurked around the room, sleazy, slinky, like a spy. Tareyton’s “I’d rather fight than switch” commercial was on TV in those days and I always associated Claud with the black eye.”
“He picked up my backpack and walked with his arm around my waist. He opened the car door for me and it felt like he was carrying me over the threshold. I floated into the bucket seat. “Ready?” he slid in and turned the key in the ignition. We drove along the coast for a while. I barely noticed the Pacific Ocean. It was just down there. I knew I was being carried above it by a careful driver. The VW bug puttered, P.P. hummed along with a twangy tune on the radio and turned inland. We started going through some very tall trees. It was different, greener, denser, darker. I asked P.P. where we were going. He turned the radio down. “Blue Lake,” he said. “That’s where we live, Little Maggie. That’s where we’ve got the teepee.”
“It has the energy of a power plant. It tugged at me like a full moon tide. It yanked at my body, it vacuumed my soul, it practically pulled off my head! When I lived in front of it, I was a match for Vedra herself. I was a siren too, a monster, a witch, the sea around me a heathen brew! No compass could be read by my side. I couldn’t report the news, all my lines were rhymes. Birds and lizards and goats roamed my head, Noah’s Ark! The shroud of mist around Vedra was a cape of clouds around me. Electric, radioactive, primordial clouds spewing volcanic rock. “Live rock!” the Ibicencos call it. The Goddess rock! Es Vedra! She shook the cliffs of Cala D’Hort, she quaked plates, the ground slid as I walked. I tasted salt. Iron. Limestone! Hailstone! Brimstone! Debris! Disaster!”