I nestled into the sand, and looked forward to reading, but first I need a swim, so I walked to where my toes were moistened by the odd rouge wave, and scanned the grand panorama, and there she was. Her thick legs an oracle of promise. Her short locks, a youthful wish finally granted. She must have been hidden in a depression in the sand, but now she was here, just her and I, on the beach. Sweet Jesus.
We entered the water at the same time, and I let the current carry me to her. I smiled and said, “The waves aren’t too bad once you get past the break.”
“I know,” she said, “I’m from down under.”
Adina had been working at a summer camp with loud children and ‘annoying American teenage boys’, and was about to return home. I had caught her in the narrow window between monitored adventure and the dull grind of life. I had, as the ancient but accurate idiom says, ‘got lucky’.
We spent the day swimming and reading and talking about the road that had led us to a deserted beach in The Hamptons, and where that road may go from here. We went for a walk and she filled up a plastic bag with fresh Atlantic clams which had rolled in with the tide. We went for one last swim, and I said, “Do you watch movies? Because, I’ve watched a lot of movies, and I think this is when we’re supposed to kiss. In the ocean, at sunset.”
She had ridden her bike to the beach, which was a convenient excuse for me to drive her home. She had spent the summer living in a largeHampton’s house (which to both of us was a mansion). It was presently caught in the no man’s land of a divorce, and since neither party could live in it, or pull it together in time for a season-long rental, it had filled up with foreign students and itinerant workers, two or three or even four to a room, and as soon as Labor Day had come, the inhabitants had gone, back home or to find work elsewhere, leaving only Adina.
I looked around at the empty mansion, and knew I’d scored a cherry gig. I looked at the beautiful young woman cooking in a marble kitchen, freshly gathered shellfish harvested from the world with our bare hands. We ate clams in a white wine garlic sauce on the deck, while Cosmos explored the backyard. Then Adina fetched a blanket and laid it under the bow of a tree. For a brief moment I wondered its name, but then I set my mind and body to other things I didn’t know, mainly the woman laying beneath it.
Adina, Cosmos and myself had all slept backyard, naked, under the tree and blanket, and we all awoke at once to the sound of the gravel driveway crunching through tires’ tread.
Adina bolted to her feet, taking the blanket with her. “The landlord,” was all she said.
I was left nude in the lawn to find my clothes. Cosmos stood at attention, wondering what the excitement was about, then he saw it, a deer that had been feeding on the flowers in the front yard, had also been startled by the car’s approach. It trotted into the backyard and stopped to look at us. Before I could grab Cosmos, he was off, but the deer only galloped a few paces and stopped at the edge of the yard, where the grass faded into the scrub behind the house.
Cosmos had spent his life hunting game used to being the prey of competent predators, bear and coyotes and camouflaged hillbillies armed with semi-automatic assault rifles. This deer was used to manicured lawns and tea-cup poodles. This deer had no idea how much danger she was in, until Cosmos’ fangs had mangled a hamstring. They tumbled into the brush and Cosmos launched himself onto her sunk back. He gripped each shoulder with his fore-claws, and chomped down on her neck, first the rear, crunching her spine, then her throat, severing her jugular veins and puncturing her throat. She let out a bleat that faded to a hopeless moan and seeped from her throat through a dozen holes.