The car was old, with big round chrome lights and a chrome grill. It was like a gangster car, black and sleek, and looked as if bad things could take place on the plush mohair seats and behind that big round steering wheel. She was glad he owned it. He with his blond hair slicked back like a tough guy and his biceps bulging under his tee shirt. He was just right for this car – all energy and form – pushing her down on that mohair and doing those bad things she loved.
They were at the beach. He had pulled the car right down to the water’s edge, right to where the sand was wet and the waves lapped at the tires. They’d been fighting. “Stop with the interrogation,” he’d snapped when she asked him about that Mexican girl at the bar. “Screw you,” she’d yelled back. “I know that look you gave her.”
But now the seagulls were gliding through the air and the waves were rolling in and out and the sand felt warm and wet and crunchy on her bare feet. She stole a look at him and he was looking at some shells that were half-stuck in the sand. “Look at this one, “ he pointed and she saw that it was a pearly pink and swirled and she loved that of all the shells there, that’s the one he’d pick. He only pretended to be so tough after all; he was more a lover at heart.
“So pretty,” she cooed and he heard her tone and ran his fingers down her bare arm. She shivered and half-whispered, “Do we still have that blanket in the back?”
“Might be a little sandy from that last trip to the beach.” He cocked an eyebrow and she knew he was remembering that night when the moonlight fell across the water.
“Hurry and get it,” she said, and he grinned.
The mohair would be for another day. Right now, warm sand was the perfect place to be.
Edward Weston’s Photograph: Ford Sterling’s Lincoln, 1930