Tzvi's Trees: Stories About Weed




Story 12: Lonlier By the sea

Tzvi’s Trees: Stories About Weed - are original short stories inspired by the culture, people, music, scene, and existence of marijuana in the lives of Human kind. Much like all of Peckar’s writing, Tzvi’s Trees teeter on a fine balance between Absolute Fiction and Personal Memoir, and yet Mr. Peckar himself will admit that to him they are one of the same and cannot exist without each other.

The wind is lonelier by the sea. There are no leaves. There are no petals. There is nothing of substance to brush upon. The wind can only toss fragments of stones among fragments on a beach. By the sea there are only birds that flock to their own agenda—survival. They will circle a current of cleaned clams. The birds will dive into the waters to catch a single fish and repeat until they are full. The seagulls are never full. This is why he walked miles to the last city blocks that lead to the shore each day. He would do this for the next fleeting three hundred and thirty more years he was destined to live, while he continued to fill his lungs with the calming green fumes of history.​ The gypsy from the south, dressed in soft linens and singing chains, would also come to the California shore. The sun warmed her right cheek into a rose, burning a tan line that slashed her face in two. Her wrinkles were more predominant on the sunny side. Her other face was as soft as a freshly powdered twenty-something with a life to live looking for love. She always wore her glasses. “I’m blind as a bat,” she had told her newest friend. “Maybe, but at least you are talking to me,” he said which ignited a blush on her tender side.​As she walked along the shore, the ocean winds danced against her front and twirled around her back. She imagined the wind. Draped against her body like fabric. This is why she walked along the shore even though the sun burned her so. She wanted to seduce the wind in silence with simple bats of her blind eyes. She and her old friend concluded that it must be their age that has them thinking of the breeze so fondly.​Once they reached their two benches she placed herself on the north planks and threw down tarot like it was going out of style. He usually shows up only moments after. He passes her seat and takes his place on the south bench. Both benches were made from collected wood from the fallen trees of the north, with cement legs dug into the dry sand. So, as on every day of every year, he removed his shirt and turned his tanned self toward the kaleidoscopic sun rays burning out from the blanket of clouds and would say on cue, "Slow down, madam, the art of wishing will never get old.”*Today he noticed his gypsy friend’s hands had begun to shake more often than usual. Her fingers seem to be stiffening. Her skin had begun to flake. The dryness of the southland desert shores had begun to wear this woman an awful something. To her, these were merely the haphazard trials of living a long life without children. Had she ever met a man worthy to conceive life? The tarot never told and so she must reshuffle the cards.​He never spoke of the children he had never created. He cared for the gypsy. His silence was his way of showing his empathy for both of their misgivings. Their days together had grown fondly on him. He thought it would be better not to set into motion an awful reminder of a their shared loss of innocence without infinite reward. They had both loved before. They were sure of it. They knew it was true because they both had to forget their pasts to live into the future—a sure sign of love. Yet he wondered each day if she would ever call upon him again as she did the very first day when she asked, “Would you like to dance?” That day they danced with the sea and each other. Ever since that first day she seemed to only desire to throw tarot and hope for an unsaid future and this puzzled him and challenged his heart upon his return each passing day.​Who am I? He would wonder with his eyes towards the infinite waters. He had forgotten himself so long ago, yet knew himself so very well he could only scare himself with the hope of a lovely last thousand years in happiness. "I was transferred to another world to work. I remember that much. I wanted a son, but I can't remember if there was someone contained enough to fulfill that wish with," he'd say to her on a number of occasions, but she continued to only throw the cards.*Today she did not show.*



She returned the following day. She was trembling. Her wobbly hands had increased in agitation and he asked, "Are you getting old without me?" and she spoke in return, "I'm afraid so, but you should stop smoking,” and handed him a small Tupperware filled with herbal brownies. She had spent the yester-year preparing him a safer substitute for his desired inhalation of peace. This was why her hands trembled more today—She was nervous. She may have found love in her heart again. At the least she baked for him. She thought of him home alone. She remembered the dance on the sea. She secretly showed such a beautiful memory by speckling the chocolate brownie squares in rainbow sprinkles that sat and dug into the vanilla cream frosting. He felt the curves of the frost were that of the waves their feet had once swam in together. “You remembered,” he said with subdued surprise and tasted a corner piece—his favorite slice.*The sun began its retreat for the night.*Per usual, she rummaged through her bag of woven wheat and with shivers of trouble pulled out her precious tarot. "I rather not have your reading today," he said, staring out over the vast Pacific. He never cared for the future—Who cares to know what is to come if it cannot be seen, save for new lovers who yearn for a second sight. She had returned. Burn the cards before they make him weep. Toss them into the sea before she shuffles the deck. Send me a postcard from Spain or Norway. Just don’t draw the fool, since the old man believes he isn’t quite that dumb, and his nerves still work so he is certainly not numb. And the possibility was always terrifying. His life called for her to draw a soldier, which he only played on television, a script he was willing to read once more. “Sir, Yes Sir, but no projection por favor,” he said to his heart and cried, knowing his prediction was a hard cry from the truth of what he desired.​There were no sailboats in the sea. This was strange. There were no ghetto birds crossing the rising moon. Surfers seemed to have vanished as quickly as a fad, and yes, he did want a reading. He just didn't want it from her. He wanted to protect her, comfort her, take the bullet, but not the pain.​The beautiful gypsy in glasses sat in silence. The deck of cards shook between her brittle fingers. She began to draw them out of their cardboard box when he took her hand. He looked into this gypsy's dark eyes for the first time. "I love you," he said, and she looked upon him, forgetting her own eyes, feeling only the gaze of his soul. They saw each other's reflection, and she wept.



​"I am too old to love," she said tossing the two cards to the sand with shadows stretching to the east, shadows that reach out to you with their arms curling over the cascading dirt wall that leads to the city. These are the shadows that can cover a building and ask strangers to dance beside a bar with a bottle of gin. Soon even the west curves of the footprints in the sand are no longer illuminated, become darker and darker as the sand seeps deeper and further into the watery sinkhole that is a long life of patience. Single grains of emeralds and jewels soaked by the sea slip into that sinkhole made by a single toe. These are the grains of diamonds stolen from the fingers of widowed women and in this tinsel-town sooner will those rings slip from conjugal hands. Even the men are subject to theft—some by plastic and some by a stranger’s thick dark eyes of a fleeting truth, but a truth nonetheless. The sun is exhausted, but will rise again tomorrow—on schedule in the hopes that its rays will waken them both, although one is a vampire and the other is a faceless clown.​The Fool and Death stare at the old man and his gypsy dream. They and these tricksters of the deck are locked in a dead stare like strangers meeting on a rooftop with sticks of fire burning along each other’s fingertips. Here is a hidden place in time where only the light of the lovely’s eyes can be seen and these two benched lovers miss the streaks of mist and heat soaring across the purple sky along Sunset Blvd within their lost gaze. ​​Two planes, relics from the 1980s, shoot towards the moon like soaring asteroids of fate. One plane is as black as the mane of a galloping mare, the other a rocket-fueled powerhouse in a dark button up with tinted windows laughing to himself, thinking that he will never meet anyone of value in this empty sky. And soon, without much of a thought and maybe a single beep on the radar, the single passenger planes collide behind the moon. The metallic wings instinctively curl into a twisted dance, spinning the bodies of insulated cabins in mid air. Aluminum torsos melt from the scorching fires ignited from the fuel cells. The sound is that of an army of beating gallon drums and broken machines. Red, green, fires, and yellow lasers of light burst from the spun mechanisms in the sky. Sparks of fevered rainbows and burning debris tumble and sizzle as they plummet into the cold oceans that curl along the California shores. Have they always lived in LA? Not him, but that was of no consequence since he is obviously here now.



​The two pilots have been ejected from their introverted ​homes in the sky. They have nothing to turn to as the male and female captains are spun out from behind the shade that cloaks the earth. And although tomorrow she may run to the hills of skyscrapers saying an absent no and following through with an even more absent yes, it is a fall neither of the startled lovers expected to have this evening after years of shelter.Miles above the simmering ocean of sinking aircraft seatbelts and torn inflatable devices, the woman pilot reaches out her hand, curling her fingers around the intentional collision that occurred in this older man’s bare and broken knuckles. She knows he has secrets, but the fall is too far, too short, too fast, she needs to hold on, even for just one night. The shards of glass slicing at their feet, fluttering in the sky, are the bullets that have forced them to dance through the dense fog together and alone behind this nearly full moon. The boy, or man…cannot help but get lost in her eyes, forgetting his double vision, as they free-fall together. She had been wiping the lenses of her glasses when he crashed into her with his stories and tales. Her thumbs were exhausted from working a bottom corner of her windows with Windex when she was ejected from her seat. Maybe she shouldn’t have undone her seat belt. She didn’t expect someone to find her. She didn’t want to be reminded. She didn’t want to free-fall together with him, since she had felt safe all alone in her flight solo, the way it should be, until now. “Are you flying alone?” he asked. “In a way,” she hollered over the wind passing their eardrums as they plummeted together at rapid speed the rest of the way together until they hit the water, getting washed away separately…lost in wonder and drifting deeper into the sea of salt. Don’t lovers know salt burns an open wound? Couldn’t they have secured their own parachutes?




*The old man moved. He took a seat right next to the gypsy for the first time. His wrinkled fingers brush over her trembling bones, and softly cups her hands together, catching her illuminated eyes in the shadows of the beach night. "And I am too young to be alone this long," he said and kissed her as the current washed the cards away while the pilots drifted, still lost in wonder, slowly swimming their way back, one distress call at a time.