Up by the lifeguard's chair, I scoped a guy tanning commando (no towel) next to a girl with a Dalmatian. They were sneaking looks at each other – the guy and the girl, that is (from voyeur's standpoint, this is textbook foreplay). It all seemed so tingly and tense and new that – I can't believe I'm admitting to this – I found myself devising a plan to lure the dog, find some cute pecs, plant a kiss on the pec-owner's zincy lips, and lie down beside him – commando of course – for a tension-filled forplayesque tan. But just as I was trolling for scraps of roast beef, a gray-haired couple came over, holding hands in the surf. They looked so improbably romantic, like The Bridges of Madison County, everyone's dream of the future. So remembering my future – which, depressingly enough, featured a certain boy still in Argentina – I passed on the zinc and the pecs and took an icy swim instead.
Nightfall. I left the salt in my hair. I liked that Blue Lagoon feel. I didn't feel very hungry – the heat does things to appetite – but, like my friend Alison, the Allure hair columnist, always says, "You've got to put something more interesting in your mouth than salad." Following her advice (she's done wonders for my split ends), I went down to the wharf and bought a dozen oysters from a muscly fisherman. I watched him cut them open with a rough, stocky knife. And, when he finished, I took my catch, along with a lemon, down to the edge of the pier.
One slurp and weeeee. Pecs, who needs pecs? Those twitchy gym-built squirrels? What, are you, crazy? My dozen rich little slithery bodies oozed such sexiness I had to tip back on the slats and laugh. Fidelity, I was thinking, no problem. I sucked juice out of the shells. I tasted lemon on my fingers. Everything was great – just me and my mollusks. No more fights over stubble in the sink.
Then – wouldn't you know it? – Michelle came skipping down the pier. She was leading a very tall, very French man by the hand, and all the way down to the water she kept looking from him to me to him to me, like it actually mattered what the hell the French guy and I thought of each other. At the pier's end, Michelle grabbed an oyster and whispered, "This is Luc." Then Luc treated me to one of those Euro, two-cheek kisses&ldots;And, just like that, they were off – Michelle pulling on Luc's hand, Luc fumbling for a cigarette, and Michelle giggling away.
Well. The pretty much blew my date with the bivalves. For one thing, I couldn't get back into the moment, having eaten them all. And for another, sex – involving two humans – suddenly seemed like such a natural thing to do. I weighed my prospects: 1) find the muscly oysterman. 2) call up the gravelly-voiced boy in Cambridge who makes me mix tapes, or 3) go for the dirty weekend and sang a random guy. Hmmm. I soon realized that options one and two were seriously flawed. (The oysterman was so smelly! The tape boy lacked proximity!) So I threw my shells into the ocean, primped my sticky hair, and skipped off to town.