beach

one swimsuit bottom

I left New York with two swimsuit tops
and one swimsuit bottom
but lost the bottom some weeks ago
in a sexy encounter
with an Italian dancer
in a German spa
and I realize now
finally
on this French beach
that what I bought in Brussels to replace it
when later I realized it was gone
is in fact a men’s swimsuit
so now I have a place to keep my penis.

baby in a g-string

I said,

Today on the beach I saw a baby in a g-string

When I interrupted to point it out, the guy from San Francisco whom I’d met because someone had to watch my stuff while I went swimming with the bandaids, whoʼd been telling me about abandoning the golden shackles in programming or whatever he was funneled from Stanford to do got culturally excited, too, which felt validating.

I guess it’s not the same as validation from a guy from, I dunno, Rio, but I’ll take it.

It was a little distance away but Iʼm pretty sure that what the baby was digging in the sand near was two strollers, not one, and I really really wanted to see the other baby so we could know if thatʼs just how those people dress their kids or if the g-string was that one babyʼs choice, an expression of its personal style.

sounds of Apollonas

Today I followed the footpath down the mountain from Rupert’s place to Apollonas.

The dogs scare me and I don’t trust their chains, the sound of which attends their barking but which are otherwise not in evidence.

At one point I tried to take a shortcut, snipping out one of the switchbacks by picking my way through the prickly Aegean bushes, but in the end I think there was no time saved.

The waves pulling back on the jumbo pebbles of that first beach at the foot of the hill make a sound that is distinctly like something else I know but can’t quite call up to write down. I keep thinking of something rushing to fill a vacuum. But what?

A third, taunting sound, after dark, on my walk back via the paved road, hoping to hitch: the wind through the olive trees sounds perpetually like a car coming, when really there is nothing more viable to ride than the breeze.

Finally I caught a ride in a rattly red van — the driver and I could barely communicate but he mustered a “Where you go?” and opened the back to me and I knelt beside some tools, gripping the metal window onto the cab with my hands and not putting my head quite through, lest he take a turn too quickly and I be decapitated. I said “HERE GOOD” in advance of my stop, such as it is, and he seemed to understand that I meant the hairpin left up ahead, which I would walk to Rupert’s, and took me a bit farther.

Trudging up the last leg the house from the pavement I encountered a small Greek snake, which spooked me in particular in the dark. Rupert, who hadn’t gone out for the evening after all, professed to have worried and my skin crawled some more at his unwelcome interest and proprietary scolding. Perhaps working with him and his gentle lechery and his indignation at what White Anglo Saxon Protestant males can’t acceptably say anymore is my real opportunity for growth and writing.

How hard it is to just gently say what one is uncomfortable with, for everyone.

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