Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 1985
Devendorf Park was the diamond in Carmels crown. Named
for one of Carmels developers, James Frank Devendorf,
the park encompassed an entire block of prime real estate in
the heart of the town.
Open to Ocean Avenue, the towns main street, the park
was flanked on its remaining three sides by oaks and pines,
like those around her cottage. Paths meandered under heavy tree
limbs which hung over flowerbeds growing vibrant with colorful
blooms, the scents of which were heady in the warm air.
The center of the park boasted a field of grass so verdant
it looked like shimmering emerald velvet in the sunshine. It
was the kind of grass one would slip out of their shoes and
run across, knowing that even on a day like today the coolness
of the green blades would pacify the flesh.
Well, bliss unless you missed one of the many signs posted
at each entrance into the park:
Eating or drinking
Keep off the grass
And Maisies favorite: No loitering.
The town designed an oasis in an otherwise bustling little
town then made it an offense to use it. She sometimes wondered
about the logic of the town council. They always seemed to come
up with some crazy regulations.
With the threat of prosecution, Maisie hurried through the
park lest she be cited for dallying.
Midway across the park, her mind on getting to the office,
she stepped in something that shouldnt have been on the
path, let alone in the park.
When she looked down, two things crossed her mind. The first
was how thoughtful the dog had been to stay off the forbidden
grass. The second was total, utter and complete embarrassment
as her gaze slipped down her bare legs and saw what else was
on her feet.
Not just any slippers, but her pink bunny slippers!
She shot a quick glance around, suddenly panicked. Had anyone
seen the towns therapist traipsing through the park in
her bunny slippers?
The answer was a resounding yes.
One of Carmels finest stood on the sidewalk with an open-mouth
stare. She might have been attracted to his handsome tanned
features and his obviously toned body if she wasnt so
damned mortified! The quicker she got to her office the better.
Without thinking, she rubbed her foot in the grass to remove
as much of the fetid mess as possible then raced for Ocean Avenue.
She paid little attention to the stares she received and prayed
she didnt meet up with anyone she knew. Especially a patient.