Bradley's parents own a beach house in Hampton Beach, New
Hampshire. An entire week alone, without any parental supervision
meant sporadic and spontaneous sex.
I was scared.
Entering the New England beach house, fluids of fear
traveled up and down my body. This feeling was reminiscent to
when I had lost my virginity. We had been together long enough to
where I should have been completely comfortable with him. Most
couples are ready for a getaway, even after three or four months
of being together. Once upon a time, I practically begged him to
take advantage of me. What in hell was I frightened of?
Pictures of boats and light houses scattered
throughout, decorating the white walls. Deep red furniture in the
living room matched perfectly with hardwood flooring, which I
could practically see my reflection through. The kitchen had a
more chic look with black and white tiles and silver appliances.
I open up the refrigerator door to see that the components are
mainly grape and apple juices.
"I'm afraid to touch anything. Should we buy some
"Bradley's parents told Alycia that we could help
ourselves. And plus, we'll be out a lot."
"We have a budget. I only brought 75 dollars with
me." All of a sudden I was the practical one.
Danny wraps his arms around my waist.
"Sweetie, we're on vacation. I brought some extra
cash and I've got some money in my account. Stop worrying."
"Ok." After all, we were on vacation. Vacation stands
for freedom, spontaneity, and a carefree lifestyle.
"Let's get our swimsuits on and bask in the sun
Basking in the sun sounded nice. The ocean breeze
already felt exhilarating. Fuck it, now, I was excited.
While I like the fact that the beaches are rarely ever
overcrowded in Hampton Beach, it's still a self-conscious
experience exposing my body to the tanner and skinnier crowd. I
found myself looking down upon my pasty white legs, noticing that
there was a patch of hair on my ankle that I had missed during
shaving. I cross my legs, hiding the beast. Danny wouldn't have
cared or even noticed the patch of ankle hair. He has been known
to hump me when Chewbacca had less hair than me. Still, it's
Danny knew my body inside and out, realistically I didn't have to
hide or have anything to be embarrassed about. Embarrassment
leads to self-scrutiny, pinpointing all of my flaws. Like how my
hips stretch far and wide causing my bikini bottom to create
indentations. The fact that my breasts are minute, they fail to
accentuate a bikini top. How a soft orange bathing suit can
only enhance the colorless tones of my skin. I could keep going
with the scrutiny, but the story must go on…
I look over at Danny, who is more open to the beach
experience with his head tilted back against the lounge chair and
drinking beer out of a Styrofoam cup. I try to relax, to only
find myself wandering around looking for an on looker--who is
also depicting all of my flaws.
"Babe, this is beyond relaxing. You want a beer?"
"Maybe after this beer I will be. Maybe I should chug
it." He glances over at me and starts to laugh. For me, this was
no laughing matter.
"Matty, calm down. What could you possibly be worried
about?" I move my hand up and down my body, pointing out the
"Are you serious? Come on, you are beautiful. You
know that I know that, and that's all that should matter.
Besides, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Who gives a
He was right. I knew not one single soul on that
beach. Who really gave a crap anyway? Hell, if my boyfriend can
love a Sascqwatch, than I am the luckiest girl alive. I quickly
found myself laughing as well.
"Are you ready to relax?" I grab the Styrofoam cup
from his hands.
"Sure am." I pull a pair of red and white polka
dotted sunglasses down from my hair and bask away.
We chose the master bedroom to invade since it was
the only room with a king sized bed. Just by glancing around the
bedroom, I could emulate the mannerisms of Bradley's mother. I
take a look at myself in the white wicker vanity, transporting
myself into a woman I have never met. She'll toss her hair back,
once more, making sure that even the strongest wind wouldn't ruin
her hairdo. She'll turn to the left, and then slowly to the
right, making sure that her foundation is applied evenly. She'll
walk far away enough to see how perfectly her outfit matches her
face and hair. In this case, a long bright blue clothed skirt
matched a white tank top, which just happened to match with my
brand new skin tone and thick beach hair.
Her husband waits for her downstairs, pouring her a
glass of Merlot. I can feel the orb transport me into a wife with
every step that I take, approaching the dim dining room.
"Your lady arrives."
Danny is pouring me a glass from an eight dollar
bottle of Merlot. I pretend that it's a bottle, imported from the
Napa Valley Vineyard.
"My lady is stunning." I was fond enough of that
compliment to willingly stand up on my tiptoes and wrap my arms
around his neck, to give his lips a smack.
"You look dashing." In which he did, simply wearing a
short sleeved green and white flannel shirt and khaki cargo
"Sit. Your Merlot is awaiting you and I'll serve your
I believe Bradley's parents would have a Cobb Salad
before their entrée; we had pre-packaged salad. For our entrée,
Danny made grilled chicken breast doused with a whole lot of
"Here you go baby."
This was a different kind of pampering I was
experiencing. I was accustomed to either Denise making our plates
or Danny re-heating whatever the master chef had made in the
microwave. Pampering took on a definition of casual and
convenience, not romance. In fact, he served me my entire dinner.
Danny was not my waiter.
"Danny I could have done this all myself." Clearly I
meant serving myself, definitely not cooking a decent meal. I'm
sure Bradley's mother is an experienced cook, whereas I know how
to make a meal straight from a box.
"Nonsense. I like serving you"
Considering the fact that I felt as though I were
eating straight from a spice cabinet, the chicken did not taste
all that bad. Yes, it was most likely the quick buzz from the
cheap bottle of wine and the hospitable atmosphere that made the
concoction of spices edible, however, I cannot deny the fact that
I was supplied a hearty meal.
I take a look around at the mess that was left to
"Honey I'll do the dishes; you go into the living
room, drink your wine, and relax."
"No, you are not my servant. I want to help." I
refused to let this be a solo act.
So we created a husband and wife assembly line. I
washed, since Danny had never washed a single dish in his entire
life, and he dried them as well as putting each dish away. His
height came in handy, especially when reaching the top shelf.
"How about the last day here, we take a drive up
through the coast line into Maine? The houses are supposed to be
gorgeous. And, I've never been to Maine before." Danny suggests.
"Neither have I, that sounds great. We'll have to get
another disposable camera" The real husband and wife would have
enough money to afford a digital camera.
With his hopeful suggestion the fun had only one
direction to take and that was to the living room, where my
unclipped toenails and the patch of ankle hair were comfortably
exposed on top of Danny's lap.
"What do you think about living by the ocean?" He
asks, looking directly into my eyes.
"I've never been south of the Jersey shore. I would
like to go to the Carolinas, Florida, and out to the west coast
first. In fact, if it were at all possible, I would love to
travel the entire United States. Think about it, we live in this
country and we have no idea what it has to offer outside of where
we are and where we've been. I want to experience the diversity
of this country."
"If we start planning ahead, maybe we can travel the
states next year sometime."
The words that he spoke were exciting. Really
exciting, to my imagination.
"You really, really want to?"
"Yeah, I really, really want to."
Although his suggestions were merely just
suggestions, they practically took my breath away. I close my
eyes and imagine Danny and me in the Jetta driving through the
plains of the Midwest. Although I did not have a pallet to
formulate from, my imagination painted a clear enough picture. We
are the only car on a two lane highway, which creates a divide
between two slabs of bright green land. Brick red barns and
dingy white houses were few far and between the wide open
landscapes. The windows are down, letting the warm breeze entice
our freedom. No words are spoken, for we are to experience the
beauty in silence. Danny places his hand on my leg, showing me
his gratitude. I feel his hand gently move up my leg, sending me
back to the living room.
He removes my legs off of his lap to place his empty
wine glass on the polished wood coffee table. He takes the
initiative in placing my glass next to his. He stands up in front
of me, lending out his hand. These silent gestures were unlike
him and I wasn't about to give up on the foreign opportunity. I
grab a hold of his hand, just as I was suppose to.
"Come on baby."
His voice was low and a little demanding...I was
intrigued. I knew exactly where he was leading me to, but with
this brand new attitude he was presenting to me, I kept myself in
He stops us in front of the bed and stares deep into
my eyes, as if he were searching every particle. I was expecting
his eyes to be laughing hysterically at me, but they were not.
His eyes were serious, not revealing a hint of humor behind them.
He pulls me to him, roughly and lifts my chin up with a bit of
force. Who the hell was this guy? This felt more like a soft core
porn rather than typical build up to evident love making with
Danny Salinski. I was enticed by this stranger who took over my
He lowers his head, allowing me to embrace his tongue, freely
parting my lips. He did not take one aspect of my mouth for
granted. I did not want to take anything about this moment for
He picks me up, literally sweeping the floor out from
under my feet. I wrap my legs around him, suctioning on to him,
in hopes I wasn't too heavy for him. He takes three graceful
steps towards the bed, before throwing me on to it, like a
wrestler on to a mat. He places himself on top of me, captivating
his warmth all over my body. He kisses my neck, tasting the
channel number five I allowed myself to take full advantage of.
"You're so sexy."
There's an adjective he has never used to describe
me. I tilt my head back, allowing him to kiss further down. His
tongue felt like a massage. The kind of massage that feels so
good, it tingles. I was ticklish all over.
I wanted him. I wanted all of him.
"I want you baby." The words that I had been longing
to hear were finally real.
I place both of my hands down on to the mattress,
surrendering to the stranger.
I wondered that morning if Bradley's parents were
that wild in bed? It could have been the essence of the king
sized bed. It could have been the cheap wine. Yet, there hasn't
been any amount of alcohol that allowed us both to completely let
go. We were smiling at each other, to the fact that we were both
completely naked. There always seemed to be a parental ghost
hovering nearby, resulting in the fact that there was always at
least one article of clothing left on during sex.
"You think our parents at one time ever had what we
have?" He asks me, twirling a strand of my hair around his
"I don't want to think of your parents and especially
not mine in that sense." He pulls me to his bare body.
"No silly. I don't mean like that. I mean, actually
showing that they love one another."
"Or actually being in love with one another?" I wrap
my right arm around his waist. "I believe your parents love each
other. Watching them at your last home game, looking into each
other's eyes, the way a real husband and wife should. They shared
their son's shinning moment together. It was as if they took all
the years they've been with one another into that one look and
appreciated each other." I look into the silly brown eyes that
came back to life from the stranger's presence. "I guess comfort
sets in like a huge blanket. My parents, I believe did love each
other for a brief moment in time. Then my mom realized that she
was carrying me in her tummy. So, they did what every irrational
young couple would do, get married."
I had become a pessimistic, non-believer in
marriage--or in true love for that matter--when regarding my
parents. "I believe it was five they realized that they truly
despised one another. I was nine when I first heard my dad call
my mom a fucking bitch, but at five years old is when a kid
starts to realize certain things. I remember hearing a lot of
yelling, but there was no comprehension of the swear words being
He softly kisses my forehead.
"Say if you found out that you were pregnant, would
it be irrational for us to take the next step?" Um…
"Ok then, without the child factor. Can you picture
That afternoon we basked by the ocean carelessly,
drinking beer from Styrofoam cups, leading up to the night event:
walking hand in hand on the boardwalk.
Walking hand in hand, I felt older, watching up-to-no
good teenage girls looking for their potential summer fling.
Boardwalks are universal for all ages. Ages five through 11 can
play games and go on rides with never ending innocence. Ages 12
though 18 are spent in hopes, to flirt and then make out under
the docks. Ages 19 through 30, well the boardwalk is an exercise
of revealing tender moments. For husbands and wives, everything
in sight calls out to the child inside.
Danny sidetracks, leading us towards a vendor.
"For kicks, let me try and win you a stuffed animal."
Prizes dangling down from their strings had me
looking up at them, feeling like I was a kid at a toy store. The
anticipation of possibly owning my very own Garfield, Sponge bob
or Clifford the Big Red Dog was like deciding on which marker to
use first on a blank sheet of paper.
"Knock three down, your girl wins Garfield. Six your
girl wins Sponge Bob. More than six, then your lady gets to
choose whatever she wants."
I wanted Clifford the Big Red Dog and I didn't know
why either. I was never particularly fond of the dog or the books
as a child.
"Show him what you got babe!" Nor was I the one to
verbally cheer or overly express my enthusiasm for Danny.
The game was trivial, really. At a decent distance
away, the goal is to knock down a set of aluminum cans that are
displayed in rows of five, elevating upward like a pyramid. It's
the familiar generic carnival game, which was basically
effortless for Danny to knock down the first six cans. In my eyes
though, this generic game was equivalent to the real thing. Not
even his routine round up was needed for all six releases. All
that he needed was a simple toss to defeat the useless cans.
"Pal, you got your girl a Sponge Bob stuffed animal.
Wanna shoot for her choice?"
He looks over at the wide eyed child persona shinning
"I sure do."
"Knock two more down and it's her choice."
"I bet you he can knock three more down." Danny
smiles down at his enthusiastic girl. I must have been a stranger
to him now.
"Ok little lady, if you say so. Knock three more
down. Go for it."
One…gone. Two…adios. Three, effortlessly knocked
down to the ground.
"Boy that was unbelievable."
Ok, so this vendor was a little exaggerate. Honestly,
the closest I have been to playing a game of baseball was the
traditional wiffle ball segment in gym class and I probably could
have won myself a damn Clifford stuffed animal. This man, a man
of little stature and barely any meat on his bones was probably
sick and tired of the lack of amusement, as well as staring up at
those stuffed animals day in and day out.
"I've done this for five years now and hardly anybody
goes over six. You pro or something?" I indulged in this man's
exaggeration by grabbing Danny's pitching arm.
"As a matter of fact he plays in the Minor leagues."
We continue to walk hand in hand, as I proudly carry
the big red dog.
"Thank you for winning the Clifford dog for me."
"No problem. I didn't realize that you liked the big
red dog so much."
"Neither did I. I hardly remember the books. Maybe
it's because there's no such thing as an enlarged red dog."
"Exactly. We know that all living things communicate,
so Sponge Bob Square Pants is not too far of a stretch from the
We stop walking.
"Of course cartoons stretch out all parts of the
truth to make the story plot more interesting and amusing. But,
if you really think about it, Garfield has inner monologue that
only Odie and other pets can hear. You know that all animals have
"But, there is no such thing as a giant red talking
This was a borderline asinine conversation.
Nevertheless, I had a feeling running through me that I couldn't
grasp on to. It was a combination of pure fun and warmth. The
feeling tingled, that could only measure up to a massively good
feeling. I look up at him; he was sharing the same exact feeling.
When he had asked me the striking question earlier, I
left him in an almost awkward silence. It was one of those
questions that if I were to open my mouth to speak, nothing but
scrambled and backwards sentences would form. That question was a
question to be analyzed. Neither one of us wanted to let the
mutual bond dwindle, all because of a spontaneous, thought
provoking question. So, the subject was erased and quickly
changed. At that moment though, I was ready to give him an
"Danny. I can imagine us being married."
Smiling, he grabs my hand and we continue with our
The following three days flew by us like a bird
rushing away from the North. Days were careless and nights were
intense. One night was spent on the beach, looking out at the
ocean. The sound of the waves crashing fueled our conversation.
"You never fully told me about your days as a punk
rock girl. Were you in the mosh pits and all that?" Those words
flowing out of his mouth were comically cute.
"Yes. I did participate in the pit. My first show
ever, I went to see MxPx and 22 Jacks. I was completely unaware
and naïve of what I was in store for. I had on a pair of silver
compact boots and put myself, unknowingly, in the center of what
was about to become a circle pit. All of a sudden Danny, seven
massive boys who could eat me as a snack started running around
me, grunting and swearing. Then the pushing and shoving started.
I stood there helpless. I was bashed back and forth and side to
side. I had no other choice, either I had to join them or get
trampled on. So, I joined."
"Baby, you're so small."
"I didn't care. It was the most exhilarating
experience of my life, thus far. All of my inner angst and
pressure... all of the fighting was released out through my
hands, feet, and mouth. The fact that I wasn't alone either made
the experience all worth the while. My friends knew my
personality, but these complete strangers understood how I felt.
For the first time I actually belonged within a group where each
of us shared a mutual experience. This probably won't make much
sense, but I felt at peace with a group of strangers. "
"To me that just sounds wrong. I don't care if the
girl could keep up with the pace or not, I could never do that
her. But I do know what you mean by experiencing something
exhilarating...outside of the baseball field."
I didn't think it was possible.
"Henderson, Jason, and I went cliff diving one
summer. Jay found an isolated area deep in Rensselear County
where he used to go a lot. He told Henderson and me about it and
we jumped on board immediately. It was a dreary day, but the
cliffs really were beautiful. Trees border all around the area,
where these cliffs really do seem like they are placed miles away
from civilization. As we walked towards the edge, adrenaline
began to fuel within me. It was like these cliffs were 20 or 30
feet high; we were only jumping down from maybe ten to 15 feet
above. Henderson was acting like a scared little boy, making me
promise that we would be safe. I wasn't about to let him ruin the
adrenaline rush that was increasing. I say a mental fuck you to
Henderson by blocking' out his annoying voice and by emulating
Jason's cocky attitude. I swing my arms freely, lift my chin up
high, and throw myself out into the air.
"I felt like a bird--no Superman. I don't know how
else to explain it, but other than I felt like I was literally
flying. Looking down at the murky river water not knowing when or
where I was going to fall, I felt invincible--like nothing could
conquer me. I close my eyes, so that way I had no way of knowing
when this experience would end. I didn't want it to end; I wanted
the free feeling to last as long as possible. But I knew that
gravity would not allow that to happen, so I bow my head and
contort my body into somewhat of a diving position. What felt
like a minute or more, the top of my head plunges into the cold
water and instantly a massive rush came over me. I throw myself
out of the water screaming…it was the only reaction I had. I have
never experienced something so exhilarating in my life...up till
I saw you hovered in a text book in the campus center."
"Seeing me was exhilarating?"
"Yeah, it was. Prior to seeing you, I forced myself
from feeling any attraction to a girl. I blocked out all females
out from my eye sight, and then you came into my eye sight. You
woke me back up to reality Matty."
"You opened me up to reality."
In comparison, I had kept myself hidden from the
option of a relationship through almost the entirety of my
teenage years. Once Danny displayed his affection for me, I had
entered into a world of adversity, enjoyment, and comfort. I
welcomed myself into a real life romance.
I was left wondering though, if he had ever had a
moment where he actually felt like he belonged, outside of his
large group of friends and outside of the baseball field. Given
the reality of his household, I'm sure there were times where he
felt as though he simply just didn't belong.
"Have you ever had an experienced where you felt like
you actually belonged? The constant silence and lack of affection
between your parents had to have made you feel at least once in
your life, like you were an outcast amongst the others. Was there
ever a time where you could release the reality of your family
and just be yourself?"
"Every time I am with Grandpa Salinski. It doesn't
matter if it's a holiday dinner, family event, a phone call, or
just the two of us hanging out; he always erases the reality of
my house. We never speak about the reality, or do I think we are
meant to. I know my mom loves me unconditionally; it's just that
my grandfather makes it easy to forget the reality. Around him I
am included constantly and never have to worry about feeling like
the only time I exist is when baseball is concerned. I don't'
feel as though I am walking on egg shells in fear that I might
disappoint him. My grandpa reminds me that I do belong in the
family, even if the reality of my house at times has me
The Atlantic Ocean revived our relationship that
night. We were newlyweds on our honeymoon, learning certain
aspects of each other's lives.
All along Maine's coast line, grey, blue, and white
houses stand tall and proud, blending in with the colors of the
ocean. I felt as though I had entered into Tommy Hilfiger
"Danny, would you ever want to live in one of these
"Yeah. Why not?"
"Wouldn't you be afraid to even touch your own
personal belongings? That's the kind of vibe I get just by
looking at all of these houses."
"If we ever had a house, such as these, we'd feel
free to dirty or break everything in the house. It'd be ours to
Finally, there was the misfit house that my eyes had
been longing for.
"Stop." Danny came to a complete sudden halt.
"Why?" I grab the disposable camera from my purse.
The house was maroon with black shutters that had a
second story balcony with an actual door that led out to it. I
pictured myself relaxing on a chaise lounge chair, looking out at
the Northern Atlantic for inspiration. I imagined a neutral
interior that welcomes a guest with a come one, come all vibe.
One must keep their shoes off, and not for the sake of
maintaining a tidy household. Laid back was the attitude and a
combination of alternative rock and reggae is played at all times
to set the tone.
I could actually envision Danny and me living in a
house such as the misfit house on Maine's coast line. I
envisioned me in my lair, the den, typing my latest article; all
while Danny cooking his best impersonation of his mother's
expertise. A feeling of comfort and solace rushed through me. I
could wrap my arms around it and hold on to it for dear life.
"That house there would be the kind of house we would
I took the perfect snap shot.
The final night of our honeymoon was spent in
silence. I sat on Danny's lap, looking out at the moonlight
hitting the black ocean, captivating our perfect snap shot. Our
mutual silence helped to capture every sound byte and every
aspect of what the ocean had helped to create, for the both of
us. The silence remained as we devoured ourselves into the bed.
The room became black, and Danny's arms wrapped around me, as the
blanket of warmth dominated my body. Silence conquered over every
natural noise, but I did not sleep a wink that entire night.
It was sad watching the beach house slowly diminish
away. I kept my back facing the front window and my eyes glued to
the house till it had completely vanished.
"Maybe Bradley's parents will let us come back
sometime this winter." For some reason though, I didn't think
that he or I would ever recapture that perfect snapshot.
Before I could completely let go of the essence of
that vacation, the "Welcome to Massachusetts" sign appeared
before our very eyes. This was no sign welcoming two tourists
into the state of Massachusetts. Instead, this sign was a massive
red light warning us that we were heading closer back to reality.
"Anywhere you want to stop? Want to get off on a
random exit and see if there's anything we can take pictures of?
We have about ten pictures left, right?" Nothing in Massachusetts
could compare to New Hampshire.
"Nah, let's just keep going."
"Welcome to New York" really should have said:
"Welcome back to reality Matty. Ha! Ha!"
The sign pointed me out from a crowd, laughing
hysterically in my face. I wanted to flip the Empire State off.
"Matty, honey, maybe you should call your parents.
They have no idea where you are. I'm sure they're worried about
you." I had not spoken to my parents since the incident.
"No. I am not calling them. If they were really truly
worried about me, they would call me."
"Maybe they're too scared. Maybe--" We were about an
hour and a half away from Colonie and reality had crept up faster
than I had anticipated.
"Scared? I am their daughter. They should be worried
about me, not scared."
"Ok, but, you did storm out on them. Maybe they're
just respecting you by ignoring you. They want to hear your
I fold my arms and face the highway brush. "The phone works both
It was official. The honeymoon was over.