Miguel Gardel – The Sun Shines Bright in California

The Sun Shines Bright in California

I once met a little girl with the whispiest blond hair I had ever seen. One day I slept with her mother who was as blond and pale as the little girl, and early in the morning I had to get back to base. The little girl was up and the mother was ahead of me and was pulling on the shade and suddenly the sun flooded the room and the little girl looked like a halo. Like a halo. Not that she had a halo. She was the halo. No angel, no Virgin, no saint: a glowing circle of gold, transparent and beautiful. It was the warm halo of the home I did not have. And her mother said, “Jennifer Ann, come drink your milk.” And the little girl moved from the light and looked at me sensing that she was never going to see me again. And I had thought she would remember me forever because I had brought her candy in the evening and had kissed her face and she called me Sheeshis (my name is Jesus). Her mother had told me she had caught her drinking a little boy’s pee while the little boy peed. But the mother didn’t create a big commotion, she simply told her not to do that again. When I left them I thought of Jennifer Ann sweetly remembering me, the man who gave her candy and kissed her face.

Bio: Miguel Gardel lives in New York and attended the City College. He has worked at many things from janitorial to journalism. His stories and essays have appeared in Bilingual Review, Best Fiction, Red Fez, Pemmican, Press One and other publications.

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