Seasons by the Sea

(a cap-doff to Eric Rohmer and Bruno Ganz)
by Steve Isaak

erotic fictionAfter four-plus decades of living in aggressive stateside metropolises, I wound up in a distant seaside town. It was a rotten marriage that drove me to leave my birth country; in a quiet European café, its owner, Bruno, a middle-aged balding German with the amiable face, charmed me into joining him at his house by the sea for the festival season, where wind and the subdued surf roar soothed my ears and divorce-jangled nerves.

I was initially put off by the nudist attitude of Bruno and his housemates — although Pauline, his ex-longtime lover from decades before, was sexy in a pretty, Rubeneseque way, and her daughter, twenty-something, easy-laugh Zooey, was well put together, too. Weeks passed, and I eventually overcame what I now view as prudery and accepted that I didn’t need to be movie star handsome or skinny to enjoy life in the buff.

Bruno helped with that, with his laid-back, philosophical talk of how he, too, had “evolved” beyond his anger at his birth country’s troubling history, as well as the damage he had wrought as a young man. We spent many afternoons lying on the beach; sometimes Pauline and Zooey joined us, though the younger woman was often gone, off with a dark-eyed, dark-haired handsome young man from the nearby village where I had first met Bruno.

Pauline evolved me, as well. She was initially polite and good-humored but her pool blue eyes revealed reservations. It, like my uptightness, eventually faded, and on the night of the season’s second full moon, she took me to her bed — her arousing, rosemary-scented curves bluish in the lunar light — and she, with tender kisses and teasing touches, made me a better lover than I had been before: with her, for the first time ever, it felt like love, sex, was a natural aspect of life, not an unnatural, product-result addition to it, like I had been taught in church and its resulting multimedia.

The next afternoon, lying on our beach chairs, Bruno glanced away from his Patricia Highsmith book and smiled. “Pauline also taught me happiness,” he said. When I gaped at him, he laughed — I had not told him of my time with Pauline. Then again, I should not have been surprised, because in the relative quiet of their seaside two-story house, noise carried, and new lovers, clever or not, rarely mask their passions with effective aplomb.

© 2014 Steve Isaak. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

Bio: Steve Isaak, sometimes published under the nom de plume Nikki Isaak and Chuck Lovepoe, is the author of several poetry anthologies. He is the editor of Reading & Writing By Pub Light,

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