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How do these things happen? You have to wonder.
Day One: Afternoon, early summer, black thunderclouds looming, rolling in slowly, low overhead from the east out in the Atlantic. Sunlight gone, sparkling turquoise waves turning black. The breeze suddenly a blustery wind, ruffling the canvas of the beach umbrella, spitting sand grains in our faces as she and I huddle in beach chairs. The weather is closing in. We put our books down.
Hundreds up and down the beach have fled already, coolers and umbrellas hefted up to hotels and cottages a few hundred feet back. Our own beach rental cottage is a good 45 minutes away. We had driven down to Avon to catch this better beach.
“Let’s get up to the car and head back,” I tell her. We’ve got maybe 20 minutes before it hits. At the car, she decides we should wash off the sand at the outdoor public shower just off the parking lot. We’ve got time, she says. It’s a single, closet-sized stall with wooden planks for walls. There is but one shower and a young couple are already waiting their turn. We push our luck and join them.
They go in right before us, taking their clothes and bars of soap. Talk about prepared. Within minutes the line behind us grows, with maybe a half dozen people now waiting. The couple come out.Now it’s our turn. “Go ahead,” I say to her. She goes in. About to close the door.
“Can’t you and your boyfriend shower together?” someone behind us in line says to her in a loud voice. “It would help out.” We all look back at the black clouds.
Still standing in the door, she looks at me. I look at her. “Well, come on boyfriend,” she says. “We’d better hurry.” She takes my hand, pulls me in and latches the door. I realize there is no roof. The shower is open above.
“You okay with this?” she asks.
“Am I okay? Really?,” I say with quiet sarcasm. “I guess I am. Aside from the fact that I somehow can’t remember the last time I took a shower with my mother.”
Our voices are low. Even in here, the line of people outside is no more than 10 feet away. She turns on the shower. “It will expedite matters, Michael. Everyone’s in a hurry. It just makes sense.”
Before I can collect any thoughts, she turns her back to me, steps under the shower head, lets the cool water spray over her. Some of it hits me. The coolness of it feels remarkably good. It has been hot on the beach all day. She shakes her hair, looks up, lets her face get the full force of the water, and slowly, deliberately slips one strap of the black one-piece off her shoulder, then the next strap, letting the suit fall to her waist.
I am two feet behind her, standing still, unable to move. Shower mist wetting my face and eyes. It’s a nervous moment. Jitteriness overtaking my stomach, anxiety creeping in. I don’t know how I feel about this.
Now she’s sliding her fingers underneath the edge of the spandex at her waist. She pushes her swimsuit down. From behind, I see the beginnings of the dark cleft between her buttocks. She slips the suit farther, over her hips, slowly past her thighs, bends down to push it past her knees until her swimsuit falls freely to the floor.
With her back still to me, she glances over her shoulder. “Are you going to take a shower, Michael? Or are you just going to ogle me?” she says. “I’m 52. It should come as no surprise that I have wrinkles and age spots – if that’s what you’re thinking.” She may be a little annoyed at my inaction. But I know she has no embarrassment. She is never embarrassed.
At this point, I have no choice, I suppose. I have to man up. So I strip off my swim shorts. Let them drop to the floor too.
A wrinkle or two, here and there, just slight ones, but her body otherwise is toned, healthy. And then there is the long slenderness of her. The long neck. Long slim fingers. Smooth shoulders. Unblemished back. A distinctive curve to her buttocks. Not a young girl’s, but a woman’s tail, longish and curving. And the recess between, which alone is bewitching. Things gone unnoticed by me until now. Of course, I’ve also never before seen her without any clothes on. Never wanted to, as best I can remember.
This woman, my mother, who I profess to know so well, has in an instant become a mystery to me. This can’t be the same mother who helped with my science projects, who chauffeured me and my date to the movies before I learned to drive. The one whose dark and disappointing eyes saw the “C” on my report card for physics. That look alone prompted a course correction for me. My grades got better. Rapidly. No, I’m not looking at that woman. Someone else is standing exquisitely naked, her back to me, in this outdoor shower.
She turns, faces me. She’s almost as tall as I am. Her narrow face. Narrow nose. Large tawny wide-set eyes, but calm, almost sleepy in their gaze. Skin virginally white. Her fingers splayed gently across and around her breasts, slowly brushing away the sand and water. Her breasts are not large, but neither is she. They are heavier than I istanbul rus escort would have thought. Sagging a little from their weight. For an instant, I think I see her massage each large brown nipple with her thumbs. Maybe not. A shadow is at the base of her abdomen. Pubic hair, vaguely visible in the mist. She is watching me watch her, so I can’t stare down at it.
Whether it is the single thought of being naked with my mother, or just being naked with another person in a public shower – with people all around us – I do not know. Nonetheless, my penis starts growing, enlarging. I feel the blood rushing in as never before. Unwanted but uncontrollable. Engorging. Getting harder. Harder by the second. I pretend not to notice. Of all times, why does this have to happen to me now?
As she rinses more sand from her thick, chocolaty hair, her eyes lower, fastening on it. My hard penis. She makes no pretense. She is watching it as she washes her arms. Her eyes moving slowly on it, studying its length, its girth, skin texture. Watching it bob up and down in the shower spray. She says nothing. Yet I know she is measuring me with her eyes. An uneasy silence settles in, only the chatter of people outside and the sound of the shower spray raining down, bouncing off our bodies, plopping on the floor into puddles. She pulls me closer to her to let me wash myself under the showerhead. She backs up to give me room.
Leaning in toward me a little, she dips her head under the falling water as I brush off my chest and stomach. It does not escape my attention that, with her now close enough that we are almost touching, once again she is taking note of my erection. Her eyes lowered, looking toward the concrete floor, to see better. And watching me stroke myself once, twice to get sand off. Watching me massage the sand out of my balls.I squeeze my insides, trying to keep from ejaculating in front of her. I’m 25. I should be able to do this. And luck is with me this time.
We rinse our suits off quickly, get the sand out of the crotches, put them on awkwardly in front of each other. One by one, she lifts her legs to step into the swimsuit. My first real look at her pubic hair. Brown, not much of it. Sleek and tidy. She is aware that I am looking. We are dressed and she starts to open the door. Then stops. Looks me in the eyes straight on.
“I won’t tell if you won’t tell,” she says. She unlocks the door.
* * *
You can ascertain much about my mother, just from having watched her on the beach this day, before the storm made its presence. A certain poise, even when she was sitting, reading in the beach chair. More apparent as she walked, one slow deliberate step at a time, down the beach looking for sea shells to pass the time. She carries herself well, tall and willowy. She makes a good impression.
To some, she must seem of an indeterminate age, certainly to those coaxing us to shower together, thinking we’re a couple. Self-assured and sociable enough to rise through the ranks in her corporate job, though it is said by some that she brings an arrogance to the table. One can forgive her for that, a trait born of self-confidence. She’s smart and knows it, offers no apology. That’s her work. At home, more quiet, introspective, a private person. But no less demanding. I had to get good grades. Had to work during summers. Had to be presentable at all times. Show good manners.
There are plenty of acquaintances and colleagues. A long list of contacts in her cell phone. With most of them, she leaves no sense of who she really is. Few are close to her – other than me and my father. And I’m not totally sure about him.
Since I was perhaps 14 or so, she has considered me her best friend. As teenagers, other boys shunned their mothers as uncool. Not me. I liked being seen with her. She cuts an imposing figure, not beautiful but certainly striking, eye-catching. Who doesn’t like to be with those kind of people? We shared secrets, racked up adventures large and small, and I listened as she shared her wisdom. I grew to love being in the company of a woman like that. She treated me as an equal.
* * *
“Well, that was a first for me,” she says as we drive back in pelting rain toward our rental house upbeach.
“I guess,” I say. “I mean how many mothers and grown sons can say they’ve taken a shower together.”
“I wasn’t talking about that. No one’s ever mistaken me for a young guy’s girlfriend before. Now that was a first.”
“I can tell you’re flattered.”
She looks at me, smiles. “Think of this as just another one of our many adventures together. We’ll remember it always.”
“That’s my fear,” I tell her.
From there we lapse into trading jokes about it. Then the inevitable silence that comes with long drives. I’m behind the wheel. She is lost in thought. Often, I have found myself trying to figure out what she’s thinking. As for me, I know I can never erase this day. I can’t help kadıköy escort but wonder if, in those five minutes, all has changed for us – because of this one simple act of getting together and washing the sand off. Standing next to each other naked. I feel guilty that I enjoyed watching her nude. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to get an erection right under her eyes. Uncertainty surrounds me. I feel unmoored. A sense that nothing will ever be quite the same.
* * *
This rustic, sea green clapboard cottage. Up on piles twelve feet high to catch the enduring, gentle sea breeze. Heavy closeable shutters constantly rattling on their hinges. Built in the early 1950s. Ceiling fans, an oceany decor of assorted lamps, chairs and a sofa, weatherworn and in a slapdash arrangement. Modest. Economical. Our home away from home each summer for a week. For as far back as I can remember. It bears a likeness to the hundreds of other homes lining this beach, each a few feet from the other.
In those early years we could afford no luxury. Which is why our family rented this same cottage. Living room, one bedroom and kitchen, all dark polished wood paneling on the inside, even the ceilings, giving the interior a distinctive feel of being perpetually in the shadows. My parents slept in the tiny bedroom on what was just barely a double bed. I claimed the living room sofa, or sometimes slept on the covered, screened-in front deck looking out over the night beach, better to hear the waves.
It was all absolutely close-quartered. Before bed we would migrate to the front deck to sit in wooden Adirondack chairs in the dark, feeling the salty breeze against our skin, following the far-off lights of ships at sea.
With time, their mutual incomes increased and we could afford better. Much better. But its very homeliness infatuated my mother. She adored the memories we’d already built here. Thus, each summer we have returned. My dad couldn’t make the trip this summer. Just my mother and I for an abbreviated stay. That also meant we would sleep together on the double bed. Which was not an oddity. Over the years, we have slept side by side on occasion, at family gatherings and such.
On this first night back, I bring glasses of chardonnay, our wine of choice, out to the deck. For me this means khaki shorts and a bare chest since I’m feeling the twinges of a light sunburn. My mother comes out in panties and a short-waisted tee shirt. This, a woman always covered up. Always. Ever stylish, she is not one to need provocative dress. Yet, here she is in her panties.
“I’m assuming you don’t mind, since we’ve already crossed that bridge,” she says as she sits down.
What can I tell her? I don’t know how I feel about this.
“If you want me to put more on, I will,” she says. I shake my head no.
We sit in silence a few minutes. A discomfort between us. An uneasiness.
“It’s bothering you, isn’t it.”
“No. It’s just different. Just different. That’s all.”
“You know, Michael. Now that you’re no longer at home, some days I have off, I’ll spend the whole day at home like this. You want in on another secret? Sometimes I even spend the day naked.”
“My mother – the nudist.”
“Not hardly. I have no desire for people to watch me. And I have no inclination to play volleyball naked. This is for me. I relish the sense of being in my own skin. I feel more in touch with myself. There’s a certain intimacy about it,” she says.
“By the way, that’s something I’d like to keep between you and me.”
“Does Dad do it too?”
“Don’t be silly. He would think it ridiculous. I don’t do it when he’s around. No. I’m by myself. Usually I sit naked and write poetry. Sometimes for hours.”
She sips wine, leans her head onto the back of the chair, resting, staring out at the dark waves breaking loudly across the shore.
“So I just thought, after this afternoon, you wouldn’t mind. You’ve seen it all anyway.”
“But you said it’s something you do just by yourself?”
“It is private. Very private. And you’re the only person in the world I would let into that part of my life,” she tells me. “We’re on the same page, you and I. I think I know that better than you do.”
Sleep. We need it. The sun exhausts one’s bones, dries out the skin, dehydrates. Did I mention there is but one bedroom? The breeze, though steady, still leaves the room warm. We push down the top sheet. She still in panties and tee shirt, me in boxers. Only a foot apart, yet there is no cuddling, no spooning, no touching. Just sleep.
Day Two: Dawn. My favorite time, if I can make myself rise early enough. We used to walk the beach before first light, a time when all is still silvery gray. Then the gulls glide about overhead as the sun peeks over the ocean out on the horizon. “Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted,” As Oscar Wilde wrote, “and by degrees the forms and colors of things are restored to them.” My mother would kartal escort read those lines to me on cold winter evenings, nights we spent planning our next beach trip for the summer ahead.
On this morning, I open my eyes to see my still-sleeping mother, lying on her side, her back to me. Beyond her by just a few feet, the bedroom window and the ocean, little by little coming out of that darkness.
Nora. I’m lying here thinking a lot about Nora. That’s her name. My mother’s name, should you be interested. Such an enigma to me, all of the sudden. Walking around in panties. Telling me she likes to be nude. I thought I knew her. Maybe I don’t. Maybe she’s unknowable. I wonder what she was like at my age. During conversation, she reveals little of her own early years, preferring more challenging topics. “What are you passionate about, Michael?” she will ask. “What book are you reading now, Michael? Tell me about it.” More than a few lunches have been spent discussing Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. She’s endlessly fascinated by his technique and magnificent use of the color gold.
As I’m thinking this, an epiphany moment for me. Many of his paintings, those most known to us, are of beautiful turn-of-the-century women, titillating and suggestive portrayals. Many are nude. Some are women nude together. My mother, the lesbian? Or maybe bisexual? These are all new thoughts for me.
I look over at her. It takes a moment to register that her back is bare. Sometime in the night she had taken off that tee shirt. I can’t blame her. It was a sweaty evening. My attention turns from the early sunlight to the smoothness, the creaminess of her back. Her shoulders toned, her waist still narrow after all these years. I study the curve of her hip as it flares out. Can see again the crease in her panties that separates her hips. And the faint scent of her skin fills my nostrils, a mixture of sea salt, coconut tanning lotion and perspiration. Her hair tousled from sleep, speckled with coming grayness, yet still lustrous. No longer young, she nonetheless exudes an eroticism I have never before imagined in her. In the space of one day, she has to my mind evolved from a mother to a flawless woman. It stirs me to arousal. She should have been on one of Klimt’s canvases. I have never before sensed any of this.
These thoughts have little time to linger. She turns onto her back, eyes now open, meeting mine as I face her, now lying on my side. Her breasts, so perfect for her thin body, have flattened out. The nipples a dark brown, much larger than I would have imagined, knobby and hard, protruding from fairly wide areola. She catches my male gaze.
“Too much?” she asks as she covers each breast with the palms of her hands. “I guess I’m giving you a real show. Sorry.”
I wish I had a witty rejoinder. It’s just that I don’t know how to answer some of these questions from her. She’s quicker than me.
“You’re staring at them,” she says.
What can one expect when your mother is topless and lying one foot from you. And so I say what any guy my age would be thinking.
“Your nipples are so thick.”
She looks down at them pensively.
“Is that it? So I give you a private, free show and this is the best I’m going to get from you – my nipples are thick?” She laughs a little, probably at the situation. Mostly at the bumbling mouth of her socially inept son.
“Oh, they get bigger than this,” she says, turning half-serious. She presses down on the areola of one breast with her index and middle finger. Holds it down and with the other hand uses her thumb and index finger to pull the nipple out. Then does it again with the other nipple. And I am close enough to make out the few bumps and cracks on her nipples.
“See,” she says. “I’ve always thought they were too big.”
I summon some courage.
“They’re not. Sit up for a moment. Will you?”
I’m surprised that she acquiesces. She sits cross-legged, facing me. Her breasts fill out, sagging slightly from their weight. Her nipples even more pronounced. I can hardly see her face through her hair, tendrils everywhere falling in her eyes. She cups each breast with her hands. Leans down toward me just slightly. Holds them out to me for a better look.
“Is this what you wanted to see?” she asks, looking down at them again, caressing the underside of her breasts.
“That’s all there is.” she says, moving her hands to brush her hair back behind her ears. “Not a whole lot there.”
Yet I know from the way she is fondling her breasts that she likes them.
I just look.
“What are you thinking?” she asks.
“About how lucky Dad is to be with you. I never knew.”
She lies down on her back, head on her pillow, folds her arms behind her head. Her breasts flattening out once again. This time she makes no move to cover them up. She’s inviting me to look. Her nipples still rigid and tight. “Your father doesn’t pay much attention any more. And I’m probably half as interested in him as he is with me.”
It’s best for me to remain silent on this, I hear myself thinking.
“Oh, he’s a good guy, a really good guy and I like him a Hell of a lot,” she says. “But, you know, some marriages eventually run their course. Over the years they become more of a partnership. It just happens.”
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