The Terrible Brutality of the Sun and Love

One

Floating in the middle of the pool on a cheap blowup raft, I look over my shoulder at her sitting in a lounge chair, hung over and naked. Her skin is brown, dark brown, so brown she almost looks black, and this turns me on incredibly. Soon I’m on my stomach trying to avoid embarrassment even though I’m already embarrassed, partially. I soon find that I have a better view of her from my new position and I can stare at her less conspicuously with my head crooked slightly in her direction, sunglasses covering my eyes. And the more I look at her the more I want her. And the more I want her the more I am embarrassed. She is beautiful, really beautiful, and I, I’m ugly. Not the kind of ugly that will stop you in your tracks and make you think for a moment about ugliness, but ugly in a way that people don’t notice immediately. It’s not until they get talking with me that they realize that they don’t like me very much. I guess I am like an offensive t-shirt or a horny dog.

I must have slept for a moment; the sun is high in the sky. I look at my cheep digital wrist watch and whisper, “12 noon.” And then I notice her again and I can tell by her slouching posture that she has nodded off. Usually her shoulders appear angular and rigid; she has a strong magnificent posture. But now she looks like she is melting in the desert sun, her skin covered in sweat— she shimmers. I think to myself how much I love her. I really think I love her. I know it most when we scream at each other, when my blood pressure rises, when I tell myself I would love to kill her. That’s when I know I love her. Two nights ago she was yelling at me for leaving my shit all over our bedroom, I wanted to tell her “I love you and want to kill you,” but instead I just told her that she’s a lousy lover, which is not at all true but I knew it would heat her up, and left the room before she could yell more. Sometimes she wants too kill me too, and has threatened it on many occasions. I have threatened her too but her threats are much more violent and descriptive. She’s told me more than once that someday, sometime, she is going to shoot me in my face.

Some people get sick of the heat. I don’t though. I could sit roasting in the sun all day long, drinking vodka and soda water, eating nothing, floating in the middle of the pool, dreaming of unimaginable realities (I see more with my eyes closed).

I think to myself, “This is the life,” and I know I am awake. I open my eyes and watch blue and purple orbs float for a moment in my field of view as my eyes adjust, only to shrink slowly then vanish. Once I’m full adjusted, I realize that the only thing in my glass is one lemon and two lime wedges, a dilemma. It’s actually the most pressing issue in my life at this very moment. “Fuck,” and then I remember her and look over to the lounge chair, “Goddamn it, where is she.” I’ll have to get a refill myself. I hate getting out of the pool. I should have bought the floating cooler when I picked up my raft. The only reason that I didn’t was her. She told me it’s a waste of money, that I would never use it, which is complete bull shit; I would be using it right now. As I step out of the pool I stumble and fall into the short, sharp grass. This is why I hate getting out of the pool. I turn over on my back and sit up. I notice the dark color of my penis. This is the first thing I noticed about sunbathing nude, the skin of my penis darkened much more than the rest of my body. I think for a moment about it, the fact that my penis is black, but soon remember that I need a new drink and I force myself onto my feet and stumble toward the house. I am detached from the world. The sun has burned the connection. I am drunk, dehydrated and hallucinating; a favorite state of mind.

Two

The blast of cool conditioned air makes my nipples erect as I close the sliding glass door behind me and remove my sunglasses. It seems like I takes forever for my eyes to adjust, but then I see her at the wet bar still nude making two drinks; mojitos. I love her so much. My head is pounding. I walk up to her, and with a glass in hand she turns toward, puts the glass to my lips and pours the cold liquid into my mouth then kisses me. We fall back onto the shag carpet and make love. I can not help but notice how beautiful she is, and the sound of her breath light on my ear is the encapsulation of beauty— and I understand it with all my senses. In momentary bursts I am more alive than you can ever imagine. Everything is stable, the universe, the world, her, me, skin, heart, cell, and atom. For a moment I am happy, so very happy.

And later when everything is quiet, we lie on our backs and look up at the stucco ceiling, the both of us breathing in and out deeply. I feel better. I mean, I feel more sober, and not so unsteady. I feel grounded, if you know what I’m saying. She has that effect on me.

“I’m hungry,” she says looking over at me, “We need to eat something. We haven’t had anything all day.”

“I know.” And I close my eyes.

Three

Driving with the top down, wind enveloping out bodies, you can see the heat rising up off the pavement. I feel like if I drive any faster that we to will rise up off the pavement and soar to God-knows-where— past the mountains, blue sky, and light that surround us. Light, the light is extraordinary, the being sun low on the horizon, about to dip away. I smile and look over at her, I still feel happy. Her skin is golden. She is smiling, looking strait ahead. This is my favorite time of the day. My skin tingles and she screams,

“Turn this up, this is my favorite.” And then shrieks with excitement as I twist the knob on the radio. It’s like techno, or trance, or something like that. I hadn’t heard it before but I liked it which is strange because I don’t always like that type of music. This is nice, I think to myself.

“Yeah, you like it?” I look over at her and she is staring at me. “Well, you said you like it?”

I am suspicious of the question. “Like what?”

“This song.” She says in a half simile that tells me that she is suspicious.

“Yeah, it’s alright,” hesitating slightly. I must have spoken, but I swear I didn’t. And after a few seconds she laughs and asks if I am alright and I tell that that I’m fine.

“You really need to start eating more during the day.”

“I know, I know.”

Copyright © 2003 Stephen Goss. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2003 danieljslewis.com. All Rights Reserved.