It was the first day of summer. Never mind that the calendar had just recently declared it spring, the thermometer thought otherwise. There were only three people by the water. All of them must have noticed the new gate that stood between the parking lot and the pier. On this its first day of duty it stood wide open and seemed to be in denial of its true purpose: keeping people out... off the pier. In the summer months to come there would be no more arguing with the short angry woman whose job it had been to get every last skateboarder off the dock by eleven. Arguing with her never did much, but arguing with a tall iron gate was sure to do less.
The girl sitting on the shore end of the dock remembered a story she had been reading months before. “Imagine a world where cause and effect are erratic.” The book had suggested. It had been one story in a book of many that all began with a sentence like that one: “Imagine a world where…”
Today, the first day of summer when they put up the new gate, was a day in a world where cause and effect were erratic. Was the new gate a response or an effect of the gang fight the night before; Or was the fight caused by a community’s closing its doors and turning its back on a problem? Which was cause and which effect?
The girl was the only one on the dock now. The two others, two men, had left through the gate with their Frappuccinos.
On the shore there was a woman lying under a tree with a lunch box and a blue scarf. She had eaten, sun bathed and stood. The girl on the dock watched her and described her on a page. As the woman gathered her picnic and left in her car the girl realized that the whole thing would have been more beautiful and more true in present tense and first person.