I swear I must have daydreamed away several months that year
-- imagining that her breasts were interconnected in a
totally hot and secret way. A maze of freckles. Unseen and
serene. No doubt leading -- inevitably -- to the Queen of all
tit-spots, the nipple.
I prayed to Jesus that those freaky freckles existed. That my
tongue would one day navigate her swollen maze.
I ignored my mates and their futile attempts to burst my
"Bazza went one hand under," they claimed. "He would have
felt the bumps."
I knew that wasn't true. In my mind her freckles were flat
and smooth. Soft.
But Jesus Christ that was at least six months of my life. You
know what I could have done with that time? I could have been
hatching secret plans. Or I could have met a girl and fallen
She had freckles on her back; that was confirmed multiple
times at the public swimming pool. And again on that day. Oh
god. That day. It was awful. I knew she was going to be
there. I'd overheard her talking about it with her friends.
Giggling and teasing each other about this boy or that boy.
I spread my towel on the grass and waited for her to take the
plunge. I had a plan. I'd swim innocently in the next lane
over and drift closer and closer. I'd bump into her mid
stroke and suddenly her top would loosen and maybe even fall
down completely. Then I would know.
Usually when I think about that day I imagine her doing the
breaststroke. To lighten the memory a tad. But she wasn't. It
was freestyle. And she was strong and fast. I swam closer,
angling in from the side, executing my brilliant plan. Jesus
Christ what was I thinking?
I crashed into her middle. Pretty hard. But she just kept on
going. Stroke. Stroke. Leaving me in her wake. Oh god. I was
a strong swimmer but I was nervous. In the moment you know.
And then it was all a whirly blur. I couldn't breathe because
the air was now a flurry of water. Can you smell anything
when you're submerged and drowning? Seems like I could. There
was an overwhelming stench of chlorine.
The next thing I knew I was laid out on the side of the pool.
Surrounded by a pack of giggling teenagers, my skin scorching
from the sun-warmed pavement. And they were pointing and
laughing. Laughing and pointing.
Jesus Christ, I was betrayed by my Speedos.
And she was there. Guffawing with the rest of them.
"He's got a stiffy," she chanted. "He's got a stiffy."
And at that point I was free. Six months of wasted daydreams.