I’m slave to the Sunday laze.
Sweet temptations sundae sweet creep up on me with the first entry of a white sun caress on the wall, sliding, stretching.
I remember a night of camping in the forest of summer endings. Two hundred steps from the gentle rustling reeds massaged by the lake’s waters. The sunset, a burst of acrylic saturations, and then the wash of nocturnal indigo slowly sipped by the horizon.
My mom and her friends sat around the fire reminiscing about the long-gone braids and ribbons, pleated skirts and playground rumours. The flames licked their words, and sparks flew up to the sky to join the countless constellations.
They were neighbours growing up, flats 3 and 4. 3 married first and moved closer to the sea. 4 packed her bags and leaped over to the greener side. We stayed with them my fifth summer, and their daughter learned to walk. We’d both turn our heads when they called our names, there was always something yummy in the kitchen.
I remember the army of ants that invaded the guest room, and the colourful quilt that my mom’s friend had knitted, and the mechanical drill I stole from uncle’s toolbox to make a hole in a pebble I had chosen from millions that groaned beneath our sandals as we walked along the shore.
I remember wishing we’d live with them forever. His face was kind and he’d play games with us after coming home from work, and her laugh always seemed to rise from her belly, rosy cheeks and quivers of young mother fat, and the little one a miniature curiosity who followed me around.
They opened a second bottle of wine, laughter became louder all around the campsite, towers of smoke rose above the swaying trees and the young blood gathered near the shore to whisper, first kiss, to warm their hands on bellies.
I kept stealing glances. His eyelids were heavier now, his smile stickier and my affection for him never dead, but in the light of flames and flickers, different.
He wanted to take photos of stars and I knew my way with the pushing of the right buttons.
“It’s easy, come, I’ll show you.”
"But we have to move away from light. Let's go to the shore."
His wife glanced at us getting up, I thought I caught something in her look, but I dismissed it as a shadow of a criminal's guilt.
We walked slowly in the dark, the sand sinking into my shoes, he took my hand to keep me steady and my head, suddenly drained of blood, jumped over boundaries that someone with a broken angry heart drew for us on marble tablets.
We sat down. His arm warm and firm against mine, no silly boyish girth, but biceps that split up fire wood with single strokes, leeched me of everything I ever knew. No knowledge, just focus, intense like a pilot's concentration. Steady now, steady. Take pictures of the stars. The shutter speed set on bulb. My focus set on that piece of skin.
He lit up and gave me to try. I knew we were both there. You know these things. Like infectious vibrations of tuning forks, desire is detectable even in blindness. You can hear the pupils dilate, smell the exhaust of testosterone, feel the rush of blood away from the head. With a focus so intense, you cannot but hear the mechanics of their thoughts.
He put it out in the sand and we lingered there, side by side. I wanted to kiss him so badly, that now it's easy to remember that I did.
But the kiss escaped us.
"We should probably head back."
He held my hand until we saw the silhouettes of wife and mother we were so close to betray.