At first, I wore my bathing suit. Then, after a few days, I stopped wearing it. I didn’t even bring it. I stopped looking around too. I just stripped and jumped in. Crumbs and odors of lunch and breakfast and last night’s dinner, dog hairs, my sweat, the twins’ sweat, possibly their tears, my husband’s sweat, gone. It was like being unpainted in a cool green caress. Before my laps, I floated face-down spread-eagle, armpits and genitals open to water and sun. My breasts bobbed like playful seal pups. My shoulders, rib cage and back, unharnessed from draconian bra straps, exalted, unused to the movement of air, the feeling of nothingness. After my laps, I threw off my goggles, sunk down under the water, legs out, arms out, dancing, spinning, hair fanning. My body was just a way for me to experience water, light, air, quiet. After, I lay in the sun on the side of the pool, breathing, trying to think nothing.
I don’t know if he’d been watching me for days or if this was his first time. He stood on the balcony off Lotte and Stefan’s master bedroom in front of open French windows, facing the pool, across the yard from me. Naked. Not moving. He was a big man, well over six feet, about my age. Tall, broad, with long arms and legs, a beard that was neither full nor thin nor groomed, and thick hair that stuck up on his head in places from sleep or lack of washing or both. His arms, neck and face were darker than the rest of him. He was looking at me, all of me, curiously. He didn’t move. He didn’t call out to me. Then he held up one palm, and possibly smiled. I’m not sure. The sun was in my face.
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