THE MIDNIGHT SKULKER 20
San Diego, California
March 1, 1974
10:55 a.m. Pacific Standard Time
Eventually, glancing over his shoulder to the wide, deck-chair covered white painted veranda, “Remember the movie, ‘Some Like it hot’?”
Turning, looking where Mitchell looked, “Sure, how could I forget ‘Some like it Hot’? It’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.”
“Remember when the band, along with Marilyn Monroe, got to the hotel they were supposed to perform at?”
“Yeah, where Joe E. Brown tried to ‘make out’ with Tony Curtis? Sure?”
“Well that was all shot here.”
“You think, maybe, we could afford to stay here someday?”
“God, Marcie,” kissing her hand, “I sure would hope so.”
Pulling his deck shoes off, wearing no socks, “Come on, honey,” rolling the cuffs of his white Levies, “Let’s take a walk.”
In a calf length, lilac colored slack suite, Marsha kicked her sandals off. “Our first walk in the ‘Pacific’, Mitchie. I still can’t believe that we’re really going to…” motioning to the sky, “live here.”
Hand in hand, holding their shoes in the other, they strolled across the length of the ‘Del Coronado’ concrete deck onto the expanse of still cool, near white sand to the darker sand at water’s edge and into lower calf length depth.
The slight, salt scented breeze blowing warm water shoreward, the softly granulated sand caressing between their toes and the soles of their feet, “Mitchie, my, God, the water feels fantastic!”
Overwhelmed with the enchanting beauty of this place and the beauty of this time and of the beauty of woman at his side, “Marcie,” bringing his body before her, “I love you… “
“I love you, too, Mitchie.”
Marsha’s words familiar and sounding as though stated by rote. The inflection of the tone of her – “I love you, too, Mitchie” — voice familiar and sounding as the words had sounded throughout the years. Sounding as the passionless, “I love you” said to a child. Marsha’s, “I love you, too, Mitchie” having the mental sensation of an ‘air kiss’ given an aunt or a friend. Needing more now. Wanting Marsha to understand the depth of emotion he was feeling! Wanting real love, not a meaningless ‘air kiss’ “I love you, too, Mitchie.”
“No, honey… I really love you!”
“I know, Mitchie, and I really love you, too.”
Sounding as hollow words.
Wanting to say something to Marsha about her ‘air kiss’ statement of love, but knowing his wife, knowing how one, in her opinion, misstated word could lead to either a confrontation or an ongoing silence. Thinking better of saying what was upon his mind and upon his lips, instead…
“Marcie, baby, when we pull away from the curb in Schaumburg I want all of the bad stuff from the past left at the curb with the garbage. We’ve a new life here and I think it’s going to be beautiful, and all I want to do is to love you and make you happy.”
Her arms across his shoulders, her mouth inches from his, “Me, too, Mitchie.” Sincerely said, “I just want us to be happy, too.”
Embracing in the ankle lapping warm water and sea- scented air of Coronado Island, the husband and wife kissed, and the kiss this time was not as an ‘air kiss’.
Still hand in hand, strolling the shoreline about a half mile up the beach, “What time’s it getting?”
Hating to leave the peaceful solitude, “Yeah…” glancing at his watch, “…If we want to get into Mexico, look around and grab something to eat and get back in time for Sophie’s call, now’s probably a good time to head back.”
Once again backtracking: Off Coronado Island onto the ‘Coronado Bay Bridge’ to ‘California 75’ into San Diego, onto ‘U.S. 5/ San Diego Freeway’ which, traveling through the cities of National City and Chula Vista, about twenty miles later leads to ‘San Ysidro’ which is the community located in the southernmost part of San Diego County, and the U.S. San Ysidro border crossing into Mexico.
AS suggested by Jason, Mitchell parked the Buick in an enclosed, patrolled parking lot on the American side of the border.
After fumbling around the dashboard for a minute, finding the button to raise the top, they double checked to be sure each had their wallets with their driver’s licenses. Then, locking the car, they began to walk.
The approximate twenty foot high, half block long bridge passing from America into Mexico crossed above a wide, dry gully. Situated within the gully, for as far as the eye could see in either direction were…
©October 15, 2011 / Mark M. Lichterman
Standing, looking, it took a few seconds to fully comprehend, “My God, Mitchie, are those what I think they are?”