It was a sweltering afternoon in a slightly more affluent coastal California “community” where nobody really likes each other, but are too medicated to care. The still air was thick and smelled of fish. And as Harold watched another yacht struggle to navigate the calm waters of the harbor, he concluded the world was wrong and life was meaningless.
“Would you do me?” Sophia asked.
They sat on a bench beneath the thinning shade of a patch of trees, yacht clubs and hotels to their left, families splashing about on a narrow stretch of sandy beach to their right. She was a fashionable mess of hair blowing in the wind, making her way through a stack of photographs of herself. He was very confused. “I’m sorry. What?”
Sophia ignored this, holding up a particularly flattering image in which she made creative use of a chair, a mirror, and the contents of a box she kept buried in the back of her closet. “I’d do me.”
Harold smiled. “I’m glad you like them.”
“I love them,” she gushed. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but how are you not getting more work?”
He shrugged. “What’s there to say? One minute, you’re young and full of shit and the world is yours. The next, you’re looking at a clock on the wall in an empty art gallery, wondering what the Hell you did wrong.”
Sophia saw the man beside her, and turned to the stack of photographs in her hands. “I haven’t seen myself–,” she started, then thought better of it. “I haven’t felt this beautiful in years. Thank you, Harold.” And then, she kissed him.
Wow. Okay, he blinked.
“Your lips are soft,” she whispered, gathered her things, and walked away.
Harold sat there watching this like an idiot, then realized he should probably say or do something. “Wait. What? Shit,” he poetically blathered. “I’m sorry, Sophia. I didn’t–”
Sophia stopped, and turned to Harold. “I know you didn’t. I did.”
“Then, what’s the problem?”
She smiled with her eyes. “No problem.”