Ruth Kelmer-Ovadia and L.J. Becker

Kelmer R

Ruth Kelmer-Ovadia
Charcoal, 22 X 30 inches


Kelmer I

Ruth Kelmer-Ovadia
Print ink, 12 x 14 inches
Inspiration piece provided to L.J. Becker

Summer Girl
By L.J. Becker

When he is sweet, Alex runs his right thumb along Sharon’s left eyebrow.  The thick hairs mostly cover the scar from where he split her skin the first time.  He smooths the remnant as though it happened long before his time.  Like she fell off her bicycle when she first rode without training wheels.  Like she tripped the first time she wore high heels.

Tonight Alex flirts with the pretty blonde who works this summer as a lifeguard at the shore.  Sharon has long since stopped seeing.  Her eyes glaze of their own accord.  Her mind takes her nowhere.  Nowhere is exactly where she wants to be.

Alex reads these summer girls like Archie comics.  They are always Betty – sweet and ripe for ruin.  He is masculine in a way this girl does not know.   He is older and smells like someone accustomed to manhood.

He looks at her to let her know he notices, and goes back to talking with the bartender.  The girl walks to the bar and orders a shot of Cuervo in the boldest move she has ever made.  Alex assesses her with the admiration she craves and holds up two fingers.  When the shots come, they clink glasses and take it all in.  They always come to him.

He likes for Sharon to see.  She sits a few stools away in a short skirt and tube top he chose, clothing too young for a 40 year-old woman who looks her age.   The summer girls laugh at her.  She smiles and sucks at the ice cubes in her gin and tonics.  She and Alex met in summer.

He does a few more shots with this one, who believes she is bolder yet when she holds his stare as he snakes his hand up her thigh, as far as her shorts will allow.  He suggests they go outside for a cigarette.

He likes for Sharon to know.  He takes them out back for rough sport.  Only one time each.  It is his form of faithfulness.

Occasionally, a man talks to Sharon.  She hardens her face, lips tight.  Occasionally, they take her disinterest as a challenge.  They are programmed to want to break a woman and put her back as they like.  Alex sees just as she does.  She is the way he made her.

Last time was her right wrist.  There was a lot of time between that and the time before.  The kick in the stomach that ensured her insides would always be empty of his offspring.  He was sorry and sweet for months before resentment kicked in.

It doesn’t matter to her.  Above all, he is lazy.  She knows he does not want a feisty one.  They take too long to break.  He had more patience back then.  He will use them but come back to her.  Even if she wanted to go, she long since gave up the fiction that there is a choice.
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