I put in a call to book the weekend of June 4th at the lake house. The receptionist relays to me that there is only one cottage remaining--Siren’s Song, the house farthest past the long dock on the left. I book it quickly, excitedly. I gaze and glance around the room; the orange sponge strangely signalling to me that I need to clean up the kitchen before she arrives. I look at the clock. She will be here in an hour. The sponge moves almost on its own from that point on, channeling my energy.
While washing and drying the remaining dishes, I become lost in reverie about our last meeting at the university library. The electrical shock between us was palpable and shocking, jolting us out of our mundane academic life. I have a “pull” at the library, so once I had felt that first jolt, I pulled her into the archive room. Temperature and humidity controlled, white gloves waiting at the door, we swiftly peeled our clothes off like “just ripe” bananas and lay down on the floor. Our lust matured, growing more forceful. I spotted a copy of Keat’s poetry on a shelf a mere 3 feet away from where we stood. “Could it be a first edition?” I pondered then quickly erased that strange intrusive thought from my head. I try my best not to laugh as I position my angel, to admire her curvy white splendour, as she lay spread across the carpet like a corpse: blonde hair spilled onto avocado, with lips parted in painful, ecstatic stillness.
Her signature quiet contemplation quickly transforms into a rapturous rhythm of sound, and I fear for a moment someone will hear. I cover her mouth with my hand, impulsively grabbing one of the spare white gloves for her to bite on. Gasps and cries muffled, we proceed to end our moment of spiritual elevation on a high note: no biological traces to be found, all neatly collected in a latex container. I breathe a sigh of relief for the salvage of my beloved open access to the library and for the continuation of my masculine freedom. I watch as she dresses-replacing her rosy pink undergarments, buttoning her jeans as I zip mine quickly. I lay the glove carefully back in place and caress the Keats book as I pass: “No damage done”. I drive her home and observe her as she walks to the door, hair flowing down her back, slightly dishevelled; her boots percusive on the concrete. A car pulls up. Two people get out: an older woman and what appears to be a priest. They enter the same door as she has, priest following behind, close at her heels. She must live with her mother, I suppose.
When the time comes and she finally arrives, I tell her about the cottage. We make plans. She is more beautiful than I remember, away from the fluorescent lights of the university. She had mindfully thought to bring her toothbrush, and I spot it in the holder on the bathroom sink. “Huh.” I feel a sharp jab sear through my chest. A small red object with significance miles beyond its ordinary utilitarianism.
I proceed to count the days until June 4th, slashing them with a line on my calendar anxiously, like a kid waiting for Christmas. I am finding that I am falling in love. I almost forget to breathe now, and my stomach feels like an empty cavern come to life with flowers.
June 4th arrives. We unpack our things at Siren’s Song. Someone had left a green rake by the back door. It had fallen and jammed into the screening. I carefully remove it and place it on its side on the front porch. The bugs will come later, but let them come. I won’t notice.
She comes up behind me, her hair tied back loosely with a scarf, bright red perfectly painted toes peeking out innocently from the from of her black leather sandals. She grabs my hand, leads me to the lake, immodestly removes her clothes, and dives through the surface of the glassy lake. I think to hesitate, looking around at the other cottages the surround its perimeter. As I spy her figure drifting smoothly through the water, I say “What the hell,” remove my clothes, and enter. The chill of the water hits me pretty hard, but it is a pleasant shock. She swims to me, red lips beaded with water, her hair smoothed back to a fawn colored sheen. Her skin has just begun to tan. Around her neck rests a small plain gold cross. I begin to caress and kiss her neck, moving down to take the cross into my mouth. I taste the harsh metallic coldness as our bodies begin the melding process. We create an amalgam of our own and the chemical reaction is synchronic and smooth.
The water will hide the evidence this time, but I never once consider this. It is simply this woman and me. It could be any day, any hour, any lake, and any two people experiencing wholeness and escape, feet off of the ground, for the first time. And I live for that. I know we all do.