in our continued pursuit of the inner mysteries of relationships

July 30, 2008

a friend of mine gave me a copy of the following excerpt a few days ago…..

“Once a young woman walked every afternoon along a stretch of beach. She was tall, with a slender tanned body, and her bathing suit was very short and tight and of a soft gay green yarn.

“Every afternoon as she crossed the warm sand to the steps up the cliff, she passed close by a rug, on which sat two people. She was conscious that they both noticed her and waited for her. Especially she knew that the man watched her. She walked very straight and stuck out her two small round breasts a little.

“It surprised her that the man and the woman were together. He was a tall rather soft man, a few years away from being very handsome. He wore bathing trunks and was busy tanning his skin. The woman rubbed oil on him, and even with her strong hands rubbing him, he watched the young girl pass by. His eyes were spoiled and laughing, the slightly moist brown eyes of an attractive middle aged man.

“That was what surprised the girl, his blatant charm and the woman he was with. There were so many lone lovely women to be with him, but was always with the plain, gray, strong woman who never spoke but sat watching over him and rubbing his skin when he wanted it rubbed.

“The girl thought they were probably the same age. But the man was still boyish and his eyes roved, and the woman was a stocky middle-aged person, blunt looking and never dressed in anything but a white apronlike dress and a coarse misshapen sweater of dull gray.

“Every day the girl grew more conscious of the man. She knew he waited for her to pass. She could feel him watching the rise and fall of her little round buttocks, ans she was glad that her legs were straight and firm. She stuck her breasts out proudly and wondered about his staying always with an old stubby woman.

“One day she walked past them. The man half-lay against the woman’s shoulder, and she was humped strongly like a rock to support him. His hand dropped lax beyond a raised knee.

“He watched the girl. The woman seemed not to. The girl was very conscious. Just before she got to the steps, she turned and for the first time looked the two people. Her head was up, very triumphant, because she knew she would catch the man finally with his bright roving look and hold him.

“He smiled confidently into her eyes. Then the woman leaned slowly around, and with her white clean teeth she caught hold of the soft sidepiece of the man’s hand, the piece from the base of the little finger to the wrist, and she bit it. Probably she did not bite very hard, but it was a stern authoritative bite. And it told the girl suddenly of a deep real passion she had not known yet nor even thought about.

“The woman looked at the girl. Her eyes were clear and impersonal and swung from the young face out to the ocean. The girl turned and walked quickly away, and for a long time felt very young and humiliated.”

-From MFK Fisher’s Laguna Journal

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