Coastal Politics


  I lay back in the deck chair, wondering idly whether I can be bothered to go through the whole debacle that is swimming in the sea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an act I love in its entirety, but the post-swim walk between the ocean’s edge and our spot on the beach counteracts quite effectively any and all desire I might foster somewhere deep inside.

  I’m in the process of justifying the outcome of that most horrible combination of wet body and sand when Fanny – who had been sunbathing on her stomach during my entire debate – rolls onto her back and sits up. I barely give it any notice, let alone thought, until she reaches behind her in that unique and awkward chicken-wing motion reserved solely for either a) annoying dance routines or b) bra removal. It’s a motion I’ve become incredibly aware of in the later years of my life as something definitely worth attention. The early years, of course, were spent running away from such movement in fear of an inebriated aunt pulling me onto the dance floor at a wedding and forcing me to shake that thing.

  “Woah woah woah woah woah,” I say, halting not only my girlfriend but also the usual excitement I feel at witnessing such a miraculous moment as it begins to build.
  “What?” She asks, looking at me – I think. Sunglasses are weird. You can never tell if you actually have the attention of the person behind them, and even now I feel my own eyes straying, searching their black depths for some definable shape behind the shade of ambiguity.
  “What are you doing?” I ask, regaining composure and motioning towards her bra, whose straps verge on loose – is it already too late? Is the clasp unclasped?
  “Tanning my front,” she says in a tone that suggests I’m an idiot.
  “Well that’s all well and good but the bra can stay, Fanny.”
  “Stop being such a baby,” she says, probably rolling her eyes, and continues to remove the brassiere as she says “I want an even tone. Tan lines are trés unsexy.”
  Just as she drops the polkadot swimsuit and her breasts come into sight I throw a towel from the bag beside my feet over her chest, covering her decency.
  “Christian,” she groans, annoyed.
  “At least cover up your nipples,” I plead, “everyone knows it doesn’t count if you can’t see a nipple.”
  “Christian this is ridiculous,” she says, indignant now. She begins to lower the towel.
  “I worked damn hard to earn the right to see those things,” I snap, pointing towards her chest accusatorily, “and I’ll be damned if the world gets to see them for free.” 
  The glasses stare in my general direction, her hands frozen in place, her mouth ever so slightly open. I wonder if I’m winning.


~ by Joseph Blame on December 29, 2010.

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