Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I Love Dialogue from Author of Love
Blake Abernathy has been getting a lot of unexpected, and unwanted, attention from women. Since coming to Florida for a visit, he's been stalked by one group after another. It might seem ideal to some men, but for him, it's extremely annoying. Trying to get some sun in Key West, he wakes to another group of women.
As I'd napped, a gaggle of girls—mostly older teens and early twenties, had gathered. They were taking pictures and talking about me in very specific terms. I sat up, scowling.
"Just admiring the view," one of them said. She was a little older, late twenties I'd guess. Her dark hair was a tangled mess in a sloppy bun perched on top of her head, and she wore a man's tank top over her suit.
"Admire it from somewhere else."
"It's a public place," she countered.
"But this isn't," I gestured to my body. "If I came up and started taking pictures while you were tanning, you'd think I was a perv and call the cops. But because I'm a man, it's okay for you to do this?" I rolled over on my stomach. "Go away," I said.
"Rude much?" she sneered, but didn't move.
Suddenly furious, I hopped to my feet. Hiram was awake, but he just watched. I couldn't tell what he was thinking, I could barely tell what was on my mind. Rage. Pure and simple.
"Go away!" I bellowed. "I'm on vacation! My girlfriend was murdered and I don't need a bunch of stupid girls staring at me! Go!"
About that time, a lifeguard and a beach cop wandered over.
"There a problem here, sir?" the cop asked.
The anger left as fast as it had appeared. "Yes. I'm being harassed."
He gave me an evil eye. Even with his glasses on, I could see it. His stance changed. Even if I had a mind to assault a cop, which I don't, I knew he'd half kill me and still take me down.
"Look, I don't want any trouble. I was trying to relax and get some sun and I wake up to find these women taking my picture without my permission. I asked them to leave and they wouldn't."
"I asked them too, before he woke up," Hiram said. "They told me to fuck off. I'm eighty-two years old. If I'd spoken to an old person like that in my day, he'd have smacked my mouth. As they are ladies, I refrained. But they're bothering us."
"He's hot," the spokeswoman said.
"And that makes it okay?" the cop replied, arms crossed, facing her now. He was jacked to hell and back. He could have made a fortune as a cover model. As could the lifeguard.
"I'm sorry, sir. I didn't see this. I was watching the water," the guard said. He was about my age. Also jacked as all hell.
"I've had a hell of a week. Not anyone's fault—but I've been bugged and hassled by women since I got to Florida. Is there something in the water makes chicks crazy? Swear to god, I'm on vacation!"
"But he's hot as hell," another woman said. She was younger, probably about sixteen. Shouldn't have been enjoying a man's body for a few years, but she probably had already. My unkind summation was that she was a slut.
"What if you were lying out and woke up surrounded by us?" I gestured to the cop and the lifeguard. "That's okay, cause you're hot and have a nice ass. It's fine. You obviously want to be bothered and looked at. Right?" I crossed my arms, same stance as the other two guys. Hiram, he just watched.
"No! That's pervy! You have no right to invade my privacy."
The cop took a careful step forward, still not in her personal space. "But because he's got balls, not boobs, it's all right?"
That shut them up.
"Apologies, from all of you, or I'll take you in."
"For what?" Smart Mouth Teen asked.
"For unlawful assembly and creating a public nuisance. I'm sure I can think of a few other things. I got a witness." He gestured at Hiram.
My friend nodded, a satisfied smile on his face. "You're bothering my grandson," he said calmly. "And you were rude to an old man."
I wanted to add that he was a survivor from a Nazi death camp, but that was Hiram's story to share, not mine.
"Hand me your phones," The cop said, holding out his hand.
"What? Why?" The girls all screeched, holding their phones like they were golden treasure.
"We're going to delete all pictures of this man. Hand 'em over. You can come by the station later and collect them."
Still stubborn, they refused. He picked up his radio from his shoulder. They watched horrified, as he called for backup. His buddies arrived quickly and rounded up the girls, who'd been too dumb to scatter. Amazing what a group mentality does. They'd stayed there until they got arrested, protesting loudly.
"I'm sorry to have caused this big a fuss," I said. "Like I said, it's been a hell of a week."
"You're sure you're okay?" the lifeguard asked.
"I'm fine. Pissed off to end all, but we're not hurt."
The cop squatted by Hiram's chair. He'd seen the tattoo on the old man's arm. Taking off his helmet and sunglasses, he spoke to him in a language I didn't know. I thought it might be Polish. Hiram smiled, patting the man on the cheek.
"You're a good boy," he said. "Someone taught you well."
"My great-grandmother. She was in a Nazi camp first, then sent to Russia. She was one of the lucky ones. All her family survived, except her father, who died before the war."
I thought he was going to cry. Instead, he held out his hand, shaking Hiram's, before saluting him. Turning to me, he nodded.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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