Posted by: facetothewind | November 26, 2003

Lost and Found in the Bathroom

Lost and Found in the bathroom in Naples 11/26/03

Desperation comes to the bath house by the beach.
Under the stall, I see the old ankles outturned and shaking in rhythm.
I know that rhythm. I stop to watch.

He comes here in the afternoons to find that quiet moment when he has no one to answer to and no one left to ask.

Quietly in the doorway I wait to see his face.
He is flush and sweaty with a subtle wash of shame that only I will see.
To everyone else he looks like an ordinary old man in a red golf shirt and flip flops

Who does he think of during his afternoon pleasure, I wonder?
Is it the skinny boy with the hairy legs who takes your dollars and brings you a chair at the beach?
Or is it the dyed-blond mother of two children bending over as she hands out snacks?
Maybe he thinks of a time when his chest wasn’t sagging, when his belly was smaller his face tight and fresh and his eyes bright and clear.

Now he boards the electric tram alone, back to his pastel-colored high-rise condo
I sit behind him on the tram. I can smell his musk and that old man smell.
The tram ride is swift through the jungle, clicking on the wooden planks.
The last remnants of his hair lift up gently in the wind.
As we roll into a clearing in the mangroves, the skyline of condos appears.
We pass an old woman in a straw hat with cellulite pooling around her knees.
He checks his watch once and then twice and looks out over the bay.

No one noticed that the tide had changed.

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