Dreamed 1984/5/25 by Chris Wayan
A friend from the East visits me. I give him the Grand Tour--all those only-in-California things. Like orca kiting. I warn him it's risky. Their language isn't well understood yet. Now and then they shift, for reasons unknown, from seeing us as neighbors to lunch. It's how they are around their little cousins the dolphins. Guess we're just chattery little monkeys to them. Cute till we're annoying...
My friend says he'll take the chance. So we head for the cove, keeping an eye out for the cops. This sport is new and they don't like it. We climb into the kites, floating loosely in the water like broken birds.
Two whales slip into harnesses and start the tow. The long lines whip like frenzied watersnakes and go taut. We start to glide. Our speed builds till it's like falling face-first down a rapid. And faster. Suddenly, with effort, we grow lighter--we're hydroplaning. Then the kites bite the air, and we soar! The green sea, dappled purple with kelp forests and slaty blue with cloudshadows, stretches and grows as we rise, our horizon spreading till we can see to the Farallones, thirty miles out.
Now the orcas turn inland, straight into the beach. I know my friend thinks the ride is over, but he's wrong. In tandem, the orcas dive, and show what they hid from human hunters for centuries: they swim on through the land. Their black fins big as tents slip through soil beneath us, across meadows, then Highway One, then up and over a steep stony ridge. At last they turn and head back down to the sea.
As we near Cove Two, a bearded guide on the ground grabs a megaphone and yells "LANDING SITE AHEAD!" He waves at a field.
My friend yells "But how do we land?"
I yell "WE CRASH!"
"Isn't that dangerous?"
Coming in fast now. The whales shrug out of their harnesses and head for their reward: half a ton of hamburger. Around us is a field of squash. Three seconds, two... I scream "JUMP!" We've learned the hard way it's better to drop the last few yards than get pinned in the kites as they hit. OOF!
I land on crooknecks. Hurt all over, but no sharp stabs--no bones broken. I think. For once.
Puzzled, I ask him, as he lies there groaning, "You mean... you didn't KNOW why this is illegal in Ohio?"
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