Written By: Jeff Kaliss
About the Author: Jeff Kaliss has been studying creative writing and music at City College following the completion of an MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University. At City, he’s appeared in Forum in various genres, read at Lit Night, and hosted the Poetry for the People Podcast.
Through the overheated night, Lucius had dreamed of unquiet clamorous parades down the garish main streets of sub-tropical foreign countries, where the shouts and the signs were in a language he’d never know, and the naked bodies he followed, the bodies flanking him and pushing him from behind, were the bodies of every girl and woman he’d ever touched, and had wanted to touch. What were they protesting? Why could they all never reach a climax?
Lucius found himself dragged into morning excited but unsatisfied. It was Labor Day, a day off from the daily commute alongside perfumed sad-eyed girls in buttoned outfits he’d imagine unbuttoning. And there’d be no holiday company with any of the temporary girlfriends who’d gone past the point of staving off their own loneliness with movies and dinners out and new sex, until it had, all too soon, become old sex.
Lucius got in his car and drove dully in the direction of the ocean. He wished he could drive back into his dreams. He pushed a Best of Cream cd into the cushioned slit, and the thrumming pulse of “Sunshine of Your Love” began filling the Honda and his heart. Then he ran his right index finger along the back of his ear, then positioned the finger under his nostrils. Ah, there it was, that olfactory funk which always made him think back past the dreary work years to Rikki, his early girlfriend with the boyish name and the lithe, gently rounded androgynous body. This was her smell, that special smell of that place he went to and she’d loved having him go to, the isthmus between her vagina and her anus. He could stay there forever. She could want him to stay there forever.
He’d reached the beach, but Lucius didn’t know where to go, between now and Tuesday. So he took off his shoes, left them in the car, walked down to the tide, and waded in. The water surged and whispered, it splashed over his hand, he licked his hand, and it was salty, like sweat. It would always be Rikki.
Visual Art By: Meredith Brown