Jeremiah's School of Levitation
Friday, August 04, 2006
There, from the vantage point of the pool, she watched the waiter skirt among the loungers. He was a small man, stout like a cardboard cutout, slipping like a snake between the unsmiling lounging women and their husbands, bending obsequiously, chatting to the skinny ladies in big sunglasses, and to the more hefty ladies in the one-pieces, who looked at him too long after he'd departed. He held his tray balanced on all his fingers and kept it level and still as he danced among the supine vacationers. He kept a white towel balanced on his forearm. His dark skin glistened in the falling sunlight. He was a professional pleaser. He was headed this way.
Her name was Gloria. Her aim here was to never move once she got to the pool, unless there was some compelling, biological reason to move. Coconut trees soared over her, casting lean shadows across her legs. Her husband was absorbed in his book, and his headphones, burning in the Caribbean sun, oblivious to her. She knew that she'd turned cold years ago, his aging body and tightening mind no longer attractive to her. She'd come up with a dozen excuses for not having the hot romantic love scenes they used to have and, finally, he'd fallen into agreement. He'd left her alone. Her plan had worked perfectly. It took a few years for him to get it, but, now he had, and now he was just one step from having a HAM radio in the basement, and leaving her alone completely.
She rubbed her tight stomach. She'd been doing sit ups for three months now, every day, using weights she balanced on her shoulder, and she'd tightened her stomach to freshly-made hotel bed status. You could bounce a quarter off her stomach, and the quarter would fly at least six inches into the air.
The waiter came to her, finally. He had the wide Mayan face, and he was dangerously handsome, like a warrior. His lips were brown and wide. His eyes were dark and deep, like a forest trail at dusk.
The Caribbean sun fell on them relentlessly, almost buzzing on her skin.
"Madam, your drink?" he said.
Gloria plunged into his face, regarding him like an artifact. She looked to her husband, who still had a half-full Cuba Libre on his tiny drink table, and who was still a prisoner of his headphones.
"Room 17. 3:30," she said. She glanced to her husband. "He'll be asleep out here by then."
The waiter looked to her husband. "How about 4?" the waiter said, without a change of expression on his face.
"3:45," she said.
The waiter scribbled down the information.
"And, a Sea Breeze for me, please," she said. She tilted her head in her husband's direction. "And a double Cuba Libre for him."
The waiter nodded.
Gloria looked over to the other women across the pool, the ones who had just given their orders. The smile had returned to their faces. Just as it returned to hers.
1 Back at me:
Your post made me hot. Like, sunburn hot....