Today I was sitting near a cabana in perhaps the most exclusive beach club in America, surfing the aorta of high society in Newport, Rhode Island. If you know anything about Newport, you know where I was, and no, I’m never quite sure how I end up in these situations.
While Tessa and Lucy ran into the crashing waves, I zoned out for a while, observing all the white folk carrying their lunches around. A woman appeared, probably in her 30s, wearing a large brimmed sunhat, walking about 15 feet to my right. I vaguely remembered her entering the pool area an hour before with two kids, although I wasn’t sure. Either way, she was very pretty, with brown hair, blue eyes – and as she walked, she was looking right in my direction.
She was so focused that I instinctively turned around, assuming she was looking at someone behind me, but there was nobody. She smiled at my misunderstanding, and intensified her stare. In another millisecond, I understood; it was one of the rarest non-verbal communiqués with a specific and intense purpose. No, she didn’t recognize me; no, she wasn’t mistaking me for someone else; no, it wasn’t ambiguous. I knew in that moment she was, well, how to put this? She was available for eventual sexual congress.
“You sound awful cocksure,” you might be thinking, and yes, I know how stupid it seems for me to be saying it, but if you were there, in context, I think you’d be hard-pressed to disagree. And yes, this sort of look is exceedingly rare for a woman, especially a very pretty woman at this particular beach club, who clearly is not wanting for company or much of anything else.
Women deal with this shit from guys on a 17-times-a-day basis, as pretty much any look from a male stranger implies that the man in question would be more than happy to have sex. I have walked behind Tessa through crowds, just far enough away to dissuade anyone we were together, and watched the faces of dudes as they look upon her with the barely-concealed lasciviousness of the male gaze.
But the other way around? Perhaps for the utterly famous, or the obviously-gorgeous men in the world, but for oddballs like me, it would have to be because I struck her a certain way. I unwittingly reckoned her angle. Perhaps she overheard something I said, or perhaps I didn’t look like everybody else there, making me the metaphor for all she wasn’t going to find in her present life at this present beach club.
The surreal quality put it into stark relief: despite the obvious exceptions, we live in a world where almost every man would like to have sex with almost every woman. And almost every woman would balk at the idea of having sex with ANY of them. It’s truly a wonder anything gets done.
As for my nanosecond tryst, it was a non-starter from the get-go for all the patently obvious reasons, and besides – for me, every chick who ain’t Tessa is pruriently unappealing no matter how beautiful they are. Anyway, at that precise moment, Tessa’s childhood friend – a guy – came up and gave me a bear hug soaked in sweat. I tell you, give me homoerotic certainty over heterosexual dubiousness any day of the week.