Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Joan Zerrien
We met through mutual associates. Initially we barely spoke, testing the waters. Day after day we showed up, our connection blossoming as we settled into the rhythms of our private world.
It had been a long time for me and I was intoxicated with the pleasure of waking up to my body again, a string of sultry summer mornings stretching ahead. When I was married I'd had this opportunity any time I'd wanted it, but that was years ago.
We came together before we were wholly awake to the day, straight from our beds, clothes hastily thrown on, hair still tousled from sleep. Initially starting slowly, we gradually alternated the pace between languid and strenuous.
I delighted in the variety of strokes; long and sinuous, short and fast, ah, the sensual freedom of physical response, arms and legs fully extending, feet arching, head thrown back. Our naked limbs, ragged breathing and racing hearts received fulsome benediction from the shifting patterns of early morning light.
Sometimes I would simply lie on my back and watch the mountain bluebirds darting among cedars, while higher up red-tailed hawks floated as lazily in their element as I in mine. These moments before our daily lives began, we navigated between worlds, just below the surface, innocent as paramecium.
Afterwards, my heart was peaceful, a heavy satisfaction thrumming through my limbs. I was usually the first to shower, lingering afterward to butter my body with EO bergamot. Finger-combing my wet hair on the way out the door, I'd toss a casual goodbye over my shoulder. "See you tomorrow." This was not love. We were in it for the endorphins.
At night I sat propped up in my bed, admiring my naked thighs, now tanned the rosy gold of August peaches. I pointed my toes, then flexed, admiring the play of muscle, the shallow indented curve between my upper thighs. Stretching out across my big bed I recalled the silky, warm caresses flowing over my body. I fell gratefully into sleep's embrace, readying for the following morning's rendezvous with pleasure.
Each day was a good day when we started it together in this way. It was clear from the outset that things would cool down with the coming of autumn. July melted into August, August dwindled, and our meetings began to manifest premature nostalgia. Only ten days left for us. Six. Three.
In the end, we clustered awkwardly in the parking lot. Fully clothed, we already seemed strange to each other. We were unsure about how much emotional weight to give this moment. We'd be seeing each other around town, of course, but couldn't hope to be together again until next summer. I smiled and turned away, my bag heavy with wet towel and bathing suit.
It was a lovely summer passion. No regrets, none whatever.
Joan Zerrien lives and writes in the San Jacinto Mountains, where she seasonally swims with Don, Julie, and Buzz.
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