Out of Sight
From my vantage point inside the car, I can see the couple arguing over by the wind-blown cedar trees, the tops of which are peculiarly rounded from the incessant stiff breeze. The cedars run parallel to the cliff’s edge, effectively blocking much of the ocean view. The dude is doing most of the talking; she is expressing herself primarily through body movements. Neither one seems to be having that much fun.
I had not been sitting here for more than ten minutes, killing time while waiting for my appointment, when the little blue Honda pulled into the same row of parking spaces, without seeming to be aware of my presence. I had my laptop in front of me, and never even noticed them, until I heard the voice. The man was obviously agitated about something, and his voice had assumed a piercing intensity to it. Though I could hear words, and distinguish tone, I could not make out what was being said.
There are no other people in the vicinity, and not many cars seem to be passing us by. The first time I was over this way, ten weeks earlier, I had gotten out of my car, and walked over along the cliff. I had only done it once. The view over the edge revealed a long drop and a whole lot of rocks at the bottom. There was no way on earth, or any other place, that a person could survive a fall from those cliffs. But I didn’t plan to get out of my car, it did not cost anything to park here, and I still had time to kill.
The first thing I had noticed about this guy, is his black and orange hoodie, because I have one identical to it. It says SF Giants on it, in any one of ten different fonts or scripts. There is nothing unusual about a guy in a Giants hoodie. The first thing I noticed about the gal was her green and yellow hoodie, identical to the one a roommate used to own, only this one said Oakland A’s. There is nothing unusual about a gal in an A’s hoodie.
However, in retrospect, there may be something about a guy and a gal, wearing these respective garments, and being together. I just don’t know. I mean, oil and water don’t mix. Peanut butter/jam and pickles don’t mix, for most people, and people who like George Bush and people who hate him don’t mix. I rest my case.
So I am intrigued by this couple's very existence in the first place, let alone the fact that something is apparently very wrong. Now, as I fixate on the two of them, standing alongside those cedar trees, squared off, carrying on this animated dialogue, I can only imagine what it is about. Is she accusing him of infidelity? Is he adamantly denying it it three different languages?
Has she unveiled something heinous about him, and demanded an explanation? Has he stumbled upon some indiscretion on her part, that leaves him incapable of letting go? I have no way of knowing one way or the other, and moreover, no reason for knowing, and-wait! I suddenly notice that there is now only one person visible, over there by the cedar trees, alongside the cliff, where a second ago there had been two.
I straighten up so fast, that my head makes contact with the ceiling of my little Nova, and my laptop comes within an inch of skittering forward off my knees, and onto the floor, before I catch it, and restore its rightful spot. A moment ago there had been two; now I see only one. What else could that mean, but that the argument has come to a climactic ending, and that the woman is now a crumpled shell of her former self, lying at the base of a towering and unforgiving ocean cliff?
What in the hell am I supposed to do now? I actually think he is staring at me even as I am writing this, as though suddenly aware of my presence. Do I have time to make an exit? He is completely staring at me, and his hands ore clenching and unclenching. He looks mad, or nervous, or both; how am I supposed to know what he’s thinking? I can only guess, if he thinks I just saw him push his woman over the fricking cliff...
That’s the problem. He thinks I saw something, when I didn’t actually see a thing. Should I tell him I didn’t see him shove his lady over the cliff? Oh, how stupid is that? Oh, shit. what am I supposed to do? Why can’t I think, and why do I think he is heading in this direction? There is no way I am going to just sit here and let this madman do the same thing to me, that he just did to her. No way.
As soon as he approaches my car, I am so out of here, I don’t even care if I run him down in the process. I am going to shove this computer aside, and fire this beast up if he takes three more steps in this direction. Holy shit, that’s four, so here I go-wait a second! Is that her, again? How did she get back up on top? And they’re laughing, and no, I actually don’t think he’s looking at me like he’s angry, so much as he is embarrassed.
I guess I was yelling there for a second, and startled the dude. And now I can see from her body language, exactly why she “disappeared,” and what she was doing, behind the trees, obviously out of sight. I wish I were out of sight right now.
The argument? What else? The eternal question. Giants versus A’s... Which is the better team?