The old joke about the town in which we live is that it's a tourist trap for "Newlyweds and Nearly Deads."
Tourists of the geriatric and/or bridal ilk still flock to town, but we find ourselves catering more to those "Romantic Getaway" couples - two night visitors who blow their wads on accommodations, and nothing on merchandise. We have now become a haven for "Weekend Boffing and Window Shopping."
Such was the case with a young couple recently overheard while entering the shop in which I am employed. As the man pointed to a carved wooden dragon statue displayed near the cash register, his gal pal hooted;
"Ugh - that's not real!"
She continued, " It reminds me of dinosaurs - they're not real either!"
The look on his face, and the roll of his eyes, alerted me to the realization that he hadn't entered this relationship for the intellectual stimulation.
Nature > Nurture
Some behaviors never change. Not long ago, an older woman came into the store looking to replace a missing necklace.
"My Grandson's coming to visit, and I don't want him to think I lost it."
Also, a newer mom recently sauntered through the store - consistently shushing the infant child in her arms. Then, upon seeing friends on the street outside, cleared her throat to attract their attention.
"WE'RE IN HERE, Y'ALL!" She bellowed at top volume.
"Is that a dagger..." or are you just happy to see me?
I don't think I'm much a fan of the "Emo" genre of popular arts. Hell, I'm not sure I even know what it is. From what I gather, it's a semi-Gothic, angst ridden, "I wear my heart of darkness on my sleeve" type thing.
I bring it up , however, because I saw a gent in a t-shirt which offered the snarky phrase - "Shakespeare doesn't like your Emo poems."
"Really?" I thought.
After all, ole Billy Shakes came up with these lines:
"O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew...how weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!"
I think he'd be perfectly fine with the plaintive wail of the downtrodden hipster.
"Not your average fish wrapper" is still a fish wrapper...
Given equal importance on the same dates front page, our local "newspaper" featured the following headlines a while back:
"Hernandez Gets 12 Years"
"Gazebo Gets Steel Legs"
"Gazebo Gets Steel Legs"
You can guess which was the more detailed article.
Eurotits and the Ingénue: a story in all parts.
In southern Georgia, there lies an Oasis in the middle of a forest. Not a traditional "Oasis" as portrayed in fantasy novels or the desert based hallucinations from cartoon characters of yore; it's simply a spot of land ensconced among trees where the lovely Bess and I have been know to "vacate" for a day or so every once in a while. There are tiny rooms nestled among the arbors, frequently barefoot staff members, walking paths through the flora, and a serene, open air, freshwater lake.
At the center of the lake is a small floating dock of sorts. It's a nice spot for sunbathing, reading, or just chilling out with fellow visitors. On one of our excursions to this oasis, Bess an I opted to swim out to the dock for a bit of conversation, to soak in a few of the suns rays, and to generally enjoy each others company.
After a brief swim - in the midst of which your author had a slight panic attack, momentarily forgot how to tread water, and feared he might drown - we scrambled up onto the wooden structure, taking proud comfort in the fact that, for a t least a little while, we had the little lakepad to ourselves.
We sat side by side, feet dangling in the water, When not looking at each other, we glimpsed the occasional fish (whom I imagine eyed our heel/toe combination as either weapon or feast). Following a bit of talking and a few kisses, we each staked out our own corner of the dock. Bess doffed her swimsuit to take full advantage of that days solar generosity. Keeping my own swim trunks on, being afflicted with a case of modesty and still a bit unnerved by my assumed near-death experience, I laid back to rest.
A short time later, a blond woman in a canoe paddled up and, with a notably Germanic/Austrian accent, asked to join us on the dock. Through brief conversation we learned that she had indeed come from Europe, was taking a tour through America, and would soon be concluding her extended stay in the forest. Kind and pleasant company is most always welcome in any communal area, so we had no qualms about a new acquaintance sharing our sun, or catching up on the book which she unloaded from the canoe.
Having been on my back, I decided to re-position myself in such a way so that I could converse with Bess and our visitor, while evening out the tan across my dorsal region. as I slowly rolled onto my stomach, I glanced across the planks in time to see our new dock sitter completely remove her top.
Although personally shy in regards to my own epidermis, I'm no stranger to public nudity (aah, those whimsical college parties of yesteryear...). Yet, my psyche was quick to jump to its built in anti-gawking instruction manual [ "A)When speaking, always look a naked woman in the eyes. B)Remember that her eyes are located on her face"].
After a few moments of polite, concentrated, conversation with our fellow guest - whom, forgive my brain, will forever be referred to in my noggin by the nickname 'Eurotits' - she picked up her book, and I resumed roasting my spinal column.
Three mostly bare individuals mid-lake on a floating dock is apparently, the first sign of an outdoor social gathering. That, or the opening scene of a bad horror flick. Within five, perhaps ten, minutes we heard the splish-splash of another couple headed our way.
Accents floating with them across the water gave me the foreknowledge that they might be French. A fact confirmed with a friendly "Bonjour" and some light conversation as they climbed aboard the dock.
Both had long, dark hair. He - a rather average build and average looks, age broaching that late 20's/early 30's timeline. She was about a decade younger - and absolutely gorgeous. An Ingenue with the face of a starlet and the body of a model, yet perfectly proportionate. A faint scent in the air indicated that their swim was post-coital.
These new additions to our now global Radiation Intake Squadron sat on the boards for a few moments and, while I couldn't comprehend the words, I understood their Tete-a-Tete. He wanted to cavort in the water ("L'Eau"), she wished to rest on the dock ("Le Dock"). Each of them proceeded to do just as they indicated - after removing every stitch of fabric from their beings.
Leaving me as the only "clothed" one on our tiny island, they stood completely nude - talking for a few seconds before he took a tall arcing dive into the lake. Perhaps he simply jumped? Or possibly just walked off the dock? I don't rightly know, at this point, he was not the focus of my concentration.
The Ingenue exhaled a sigh and positioned herself in a relaxed recline so that she too could soak up the rays of the late afternoon sun. The three of us remaining on the platform watched as she got comfortable - while my stomach fluttered in the manner it had when, as a juvenile, I'd stumbled upon late night television soft core erotica while attending a sleepover at someone else's house.
Any potential conversation dried up, as Bess began a light snooze and Eurotits became engrossed in her reading. Having never learned any French phrases one could use to talk to a naked Ingenue basking in the glow and glisten of a south Georgia lake - I followed Bess' lead and took a quick nap.
I awoke upon the boyfriend's return, over hearing the robust chatter betwixt the Frenchies. Rolling my head slightly, eyes squinting to assess the situation, I found two reasons to remain with my back to the sky:
1) In that prone position, sitting up directly would have placed my eyes in the immediate vicinity of the Frenchman's, uh, little Frenchman. Now, don't get me wrong - there are plenty of folk who would pay no mind to this scenario (and yes, some who would indeed embrace the idea), and more power to 'em - however, it is personally not in my nature to find enjoyment in arising with the prospect of a penis inn my peripheral.
2) The lovely Bess on her own is far more than sexy enough to stir my libido; though I can be fairly good at harnessing the occasional autonomous physical reaction to such stirring - an issue to which any male called to a chalkboard in from of his 8th grade classroom can attest - the addition of supplemental, attractive, unshy, naked overseas gifts to the eyes of the world, coupled with the sight of my own gorgeous and unclothed spouse - convinced me that uncontrollable embarrassment might be nigh.
Thus, I chose to remain face down on the dock.
Within a few minutes, both the Frenchman and his Ingenue departed, swimming back towards the forest. Soon after, Eurotits also took her leave, paddling back to the Rhine - or wherever. A short bit later, Bess and I headed back to our treehouse, dinner was in the near future.
Back in the cabin, Bess and I dressed for the remainder of the evening, both refreshed from our swim, rested from our naps, and slightly tan all around.
Except for my back, which now boasted the least regrettable sunburn I ever had.
Thanks for reading!
The Dispatch From Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Gadfly
EscalatorYule coming soon - watch this space.