The year is 2002. It is the day before the summer solstice. It is a day very like any other in Oakley, where the sun beats down onto the town, bringing temperatures nearly to 100 degrees. The sky is a blinding white-blue, and is swathed in clouds that are rounded and brilliant, like art. The heat drives those people in town in doors, where they can find relief from the air conditioning. Other bask in this heat, reveling in it, and crowd to the cool delta waters.
There are many docks around, some used more than others. Some are drawn to a particularly shabby one named Holland Dock. It is ran by a man named Charlie, who is aloof and sits on the railing watching those try to launch their boats successfully into the waters. Some have an easier time than others, and laugh at their misfortunes of forgetting rope, sunscreen, or booze. Others curse, and shout, causing a scene that disrupts the line of trucks trailing with boats.
Charlie sometimes whistles, and calls out that it would be his pleasure to sell him bait, or whatever small but important item they forgot; though he doesn’t tell them that these items, save for bait, and horrendously overpriced. If you watch closely, he winks at a young girl, decked out in a bikini, with star shaped pink sunglasses sipping a very large slurpee from a twisted straw. She flips him off, laughing. Other times, he groans as he hears his name called from a few yards away where there is a trailer permanently set-up, without wheels, as Granny ‘Em sticks her head out, demanding that Charlie get his sorry butt over there to help her with these poor folk who forgot food, but remembered beer. Throughout these crowds, beginning early in the morning with those who simply want to fish, a man walks through with a crumpled old fashioned suit, offering what help he may offer with a broken wire, lifting ice chests and children into boats, although sometimes he isn’t so much help as he is trouble. Either way he leaves them thanking them, and letting them know that “In times of trouble, just remember you can count on Dean Montano,” tipping his hat and flashing them a white toothed grin.
Some, like Nessa, prefer to watch this turbulence from the trees, lurking up high in bare trees, where no one will see her, or even if they do she is so insignificant that they simply forget there after; from here she can still feel the heat of emotions raising up. Others prefer the waters, such as Hob and Jennifer. Hob sits in the reeds shallows on some barely-there island, eyes closed and head tilted upwards, holding onto his staff which is buried deep in the muck surrounding him. Jennifer too waits in the shallows, burying her hands in the muck, every now and again pulling up some lost treasure long lost and forgotten. She first rinses them, and them bites them, tucking them into her front pocket. Others still, prefer not to be present at all, like Mr. Krinkle, and Patricia De Femme.