Every summer I try to take a vacation. Okay, vacation might be over-selling it. It typically amounts to nothing more than a week off work. But that usually means a day at the movies, a trip to the beach, and a couple afternoon ball games with thousand calorie nachos and beer in plastic cups. Well, this year, none of the usual distractions were available.
Yes, COVID fucked up my summer. I know that’s not unique to me, but it doesn’t make it suck any less. I thought about skipping it altogether — just banking the time or taking it at Christmas instead. But as the summer wore on, the need to get away from staring at a screen 10 hours a day grew overwhelming. Whatever I did — or didn’t do on vacation was irrelevant, as long as it wasn’t that. So, I requested the time. And on the first Monday in August, I settled in to my first — and hopefully last — pandemic vacation.
Day one was a bust. I slept in, that was nice. But once I was up, I couldn’t quite muster the energy to do anything. I spent most of the day on the couch, watching television. And by the time I’d followed that up with some Call of Duty, the useful part of the day was shot. I made myself a plate of spaghetti and settled into a movie, promising myself I’d do better tomorrow.
I slept in again Tuesday morning. The television temped me on my way to the bathroom, its 65-inch deep black screen attempting to suck me in. “Not today Satan,” I muttered, purposefully shoving the remote to the back of the shelf, “I’ve got stuff to do.” What that was I had no idea. But it wasn’t watching TV.
Freshly showered I wandered into the kitchen to start some coffee. The sun streamed in through the blinds, casting ribbons of white light over the dark countertop. I drew them open and popped the latch on the window, easing it upward. A gust of cool fresh air blew in, surprising me.
Monday had been so hot and humid I assumed the rest of the week would be similar. It was August after all. But I was strangely excited to be wrong. Throwing on a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt I dumped my coffee into a thermos, strapped my camera bag over my shoulder, grabbed my mask from the hook by the door and headed out for a walk.
Fifteen minutes later I picked up the new trail the city had recently paved along the river. It was a lively scene: cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, retirees out for a stroll. Apparently, the adage was true — if you build it, they will come.
Dodging the obstacles, I raised the camera and took a look around. There was a great blue heron in the reeds on the far bank, pecking at something in the water. Nearby a snapping turtle paddled toward a smooth sunny log protruding from the middle of the river. And a little way upstream two fishermen in an aluminum sport boat drifted along with their lines in the water, unaware of the red-tailed hawk circling above them.
I snapped a few pictures of each, catching a brilliant lens flare on the last shot of the heron. I turned to catch the dog playing frisbee with some kids near the boat launch when my camera chirped twice and shut itself down. I should have checked the battery before I left.
Finding the nearest bench I took a seat and set the bag beside me, rummaging around inside for the spare battery. The sun filtered through the leaves of the old-growth trees, making it difficult to distinguish accessories from shadows. Leaning over for a closer look a flash of light caught my eyes. I looked up, squinting, trying to figure out what it was and where it came from.
The boat was well into the shade of some overhanging elms. But I couldn’t see anything else that might have caused it. Turning back toward the bag it hit me again. Shielding my eyes, I lifted my head. Across the river, up the hill and between a gap in the trees, something caught my attention. A figure? A woman?
Locating the battery, I snapped it into the chamber and lifted the camera, zooming the telephoto lens all the way in. Filling the frame was a leggy blonde in a bright blue bikini, standing on the roof of her back porch shaking out what appeared to be a reflective silver blanket. I lowered the camera, glancing quickly side to side. It seemed no one else noticed. I returned to the view.
When she was satisfied with the blanket, the woman stretched out on the shiny fabric, resting her head below the sill of the open window to what I assumed was her bedroom. She was young, early twenties maybe, with large eyes and smooth skin soaking up the sun. She shimmied, settling in, then lifted a pair of sunglasses from somewhere to cover her eyes.
Bachelor life in the age of COVID is…complicated. It had been some time since I’d seen this much of a real live woman up close. My face warmed, breath deepened. I shifted on the bench, straightening my back and accidently tapped my finger on the shutter.
The iris clicked and I froze, my eyes darting left and right. No one turned, or scowled, or demanded to know what I was looking bahis firmaları at. I lowered the camera and the view screen lit up, displaying the image of the scantily clad beauty in stunning 42-megapixel resolution. The swell of her chest, dip of her abdomen, the rise of a thigh and fall of a calf all captured in the still warm mid-morning light.
Enthralled as I was, I felt bit…dirty. I was intruding on a private moment, watching without permission. Sure, she was outside, but she was in her yard, on her roof, certainly not expecting someone peeking through the trees.
I returned to the viewfinder. The bright blue bikini was gone. Gracing the upper left third instead was a healthy pair of gently rounded breasts, perky pointed nipples protruding from dark areolas. I jumped in my seat, nearly dropping the camera, my audible gasp mercifully covered by the bark of the frisbee-catching dog.
Eyes glued to the scene I watched as she reached back through the window again, back arched, boobs thrust upward, retrieving a small bottle from the ledge. Flipping the lid, she squeezed a generous glob of cream into her palms, rubbed them together briefly, and began applying it to her skin.
Her hands swirled over her chest and shoulders, fingers curling around her breasts, lifting and squeezing before letting them settle over her ribs. My cock flexed firmly against the fabric of my shorts as she worked her way down, across her tummy to circle her hips before skimming the contours of her thighs and ending in the freshly waxed valley between her legs. She caressed her pussy just a moment before relaxing her arms at her sides and easing her neck to a comfortable position.
I sat still, my cock at attention, her glistening nude body burned on my retinas. A million thoughts blurred my mind, all grossly inappropriate for a man my age to have about a woman likely 15 years my junior. The discomfort returned. Fighting the flood of hormones, I finally turned away, lowering the camera.
I set in my lap to cover my hard-on. Slouching I threw an arm over the back of the bench and filled my lungs with the fresh summer air. The dog zipped past me chasing the frisbee, followed by an older couple on bicycles. I looked up between the trees, to the spot I’d been fixated on moments earlier. I could make out the house and the roof, and a section that seemed to contrast with the shingles. But the details of the spot were indistinguishable.
As my penis relaxed, I raised the camera once more, intending to delete the picture I’d snapped of the blonde in her bikini. Only when I started reviewing the images did I realize I’d taken a dozen more. The supple breasts, taught tummy, slender legs, inviting pussy, all stored there in high definition. It was official. I was a creepy old man.
I selected the baker’s dozen images and tapped the button to delete them. The camera asked me if I was sure I wanted to delete 13 images. My thumb hovered over the button, waiting for a neuron to fire. Instead, my finger twisted the top dial, shutting the camera off. Quiet, I tucked it back into the case. With one more look between the trees I stepped back onto the trail and headed home.
I reviewed the pictures again that evening on my laptop, pumping my cock in my fist. Following an oddly unsatisfying orgasm I moved them to the trash and swept them away.
Wednesday morning I woke up early, unsure I’d actually slept. Restless I headed to the kitchen to start the coffee. The sun was just climbing over the trees when I poured a full mug and eased into a chair at the table.
I hadn’t realized until now how much the lack of physical contact had affected me. For six months my social life had been confined to my handful of co-workers, the checkout clerk at the grocery store, and the teenager who delivered dinner from the restaurants across the street. Thrilling as it was to stumble across a real live flesh and blood pair of tits, it was equally depressing to be forced to turn to a cold digital imitation for release.
I set the mug on the table and sighed. This was shaping up to be the least relaxing vacation I could remember. I needed a distraction. Some way to escape all the bullshit this season had dumped on us. Warm yellow light streamed in through the window, heating half the table. It looked like another nice day. Maybe I’d go for a drive.
I strolled out of the terminal with a giant Slurpee in one hand, the keys to the rental car in the other. Midway through breakfast I’d talked myself into the drive. I didn’t know where to — maybe somewhere on the lake. But it couldn’t be just any old drive. It needed to be special. So I packed up the camera, parked my hatchback in the 18 hour lot at the airport and burned up all the reward points I’d earned traveling for work to score a convertible for the day.
Reaching the lot I was greeted with Impalas and Escapes as far as the eye could see; as if someone kaçak iddaa had determined half the fun of renting a convertible was trying to find it. I started up the center aisle and a few cars in pressed the lock button on the fob. A horn chirped at me from two rows over. Two long drags on my straw and a moment of brain freeze later I walked up on a shiny metallic blue Camaro with a black fabric roof and Michigan plates. Perfect for a trip up the coast.
At the push of the button the engine rumbled to life. The instrument cluster lit up and the radio cut in on the chorus of one of the all-time great summer road trip songs. I rocked the roof toggle switch to the open position. The latch clicked, motors whined, and the fabric lifted back and away, neatly folding the top into the compartment behind the rear seat. A gleaming grin etched on my face, I set the Slurpee in the giant cup holder and sped off toward the highway.
For a state with so much coastline, Michigan has surprisingly few coastal roads. I headed up 63, through South Haven and Saugatuck, past Holland to Grand Haven and Muskegon. When I could see it, Lake Michigan was calm and blue, the sparkling water dotted with the white sails of summer boaters. I’ve never owned a boat, but it certainly looked like a perfect place to spend a day.
At Muskegon the road left the coast. It was too early to turn back, so I headed inland toward the highway, aiming for a place I knew I could spend some quality time on a beach with a view. A few hours later, shortly before 2:00 I pulled into Traverse City.
The air seemed cooler here, the sun brighter, the breeze more refreshing. The cherry trees were laden with the fruit of the late harvest and cherry derivative product lined the windows of many of the specialty shops downtown. I masked up and ducked into a few, winding up with several jars of jelly and a brick of toffee for good measure.
I found a brewpub with a rooftop patio and settled down for the first meal I’d eaten in a restaurant in nearly six months. It was strange, more than half the tables vacant. But I never cared for crowded restaurants, so after a couple of craft beers and a tender beef brisket I had forgotten all about the blonde in the blue bikini sunning herself on the roof of her porch.
After lunch I made a lap of the beach, photographing the bay from every angle. There were quite a few people out, most of them responsibly socially distanced, making the most of a perfect summer day. About halfway back I stopped and took a break, stretching out on a bench with my back to the sun. With the heat on my shoulders and the wind in my face it was hard not to admit that even though the world was upside down there was still so much beauty to appreciate. Declaring my road trip a success, I packed up the camera and headed home.
About an hour into the drive the weather turned. Clouds that had been light and puffy all day long thickened and began to merge. Pretty soon the sky over the lake was a mass of white, a deep gray hue forming over the west horizon. The air grew thick and the wind picked up. It was only a matter of time before the rain would follow.
Being my first cruise in a convertible I wasn’t ready to give it up. The road was still dry and the afternoon comfortably warm, so I decided I would push on as long as I could before stopping to put the top up. I made it about 40 miles before the gathering gray and the rumble of thunder convinced me it was time. I turned off at the next exit and took a quick right at the bottom of the ramp into the parking lot of a small gas station and convenience store.
I parked at the edge, out of the way of anyone who might pull in for snacks or fuel. A press of the switch and the roof popped up, easing itself into position and clicking shut 30 seconds later. Beginning to reverse I glanced up. The store sign loomed large in the rear-view mirror. I paused, thinking. A snack might be nice. I shut off the car, put on my mask and headed inside.
A few minutes later I exited with a candy bar and a bottled soft drink. As I stepped off the curb raindrops began pelting my shirt, now billowing in the stiff breeze. I picked up the pace, slipping the candy bar into my pocket before looking up to find the car. As I did, I caught the tail end of a white Jeep pull in next to me. The driver’s door flew open and a woman leapt out, dashing around toward the tailgate. I slowed, giving her a quick once over.
She was average height, with thick wavy brown hair, in a snug-fitting red tee shirt and cut-off denim shorts. Black flip flops clung to her feet as she leaned into the jeep, fishing around for something. With a sharp grunt she lifted the frame of the soft top from the floor and tried to swing it up over the exposed interior. But the wind caught the fabric and pushed back, holding her in a stalemate.
“Can I help you with that,” I asked, setting the soda on the trunk of my car. She whipped her head around and kaçak bahis looked at me. A narrow nose and strong chin defined her black fabric mask, her bright green eyes gave me the once over. The rain picked up.
“Yes,” she nodded, “please.”
I ducked around to the opposite side and gripped the opposing point of the frame, pulling it forward until the leading edge rested over the top of the windshield. “Hold it there,” she directed, ducking back into the driver’s seat. I heard her fumbling with the sun visors, then felt first the far side of the roof, then mine clip shut. She bounced back out, headed for the rear. I followed.
She yanked the zip-in windows from the back and unrolled them. It was pouring now, her hair matting and clinging to her face. She laughed as she handed me two of the vinyl sheets.
We struggled with the zippers, trying to get the tabs to fit. By the time we had them secured we were completely drenched. She started on the rear window, struggling to set the corner which kept folding in on her. “Go inside and push on it,” she directed.
I threw open the door and climbed in, folding down the rear seats to reach the back. When I finally reached the window it only took a moment for her to fit it in. Hustling, she zipped the last corner shut, then darted around and tumbled inside, slamming the door shut behind her.
She laughed hysterically, shaking water off her arms and wringing out her hair. Her energy was infectious. I couldn’t help but laugh with her, pinching water from my eyes and tugging at my shirt clinging uncomfortably to my skin. We each searched for comfortable positions atop the folded seats.
“Thanks for the help,” she said, leaning back against the frame. I caught something in her voice I hadn’t noticed outside in the downpour. A hint of an accent? Caribbean maybe? It surprised me. Intrigued me.
“Anytime,” I replied. “Wish I could have done it faster, we might not be soaked.”
She laughed again. “I spent the whole day at the beach avoiding the water and now look at me.”
My turn to snicker. She smelled like tropical fruit with a hint of coconut. Must have been her sunscreen. I savored it a moment before remembering that I was sitting in a strange woman’s Jeep just staring at her, which was probably making her uncomfortable. I turned away, looking for the door handle. “I guess I should….”
A clap of thunder directly above cut me off mid-sentence, scattering my train of thought. We both flinched. She looked up at the roof, then out one of the quickly fogging windows. The gas pumps were barely visibly.
“I think we might be here a while,” she offered above the din. She paused, as if waiting to see if I would object. Satisfied I would not, she continued.
“I’m Nicole by the way.” She tentatively extended a hand. I mirrored the gesture.
“Alex,” I replied. We stopped just short of a handshake, pulling back in that awkward social greeting dance we’ve all done many times since March. “Sorry,” I chuckled, “I don’t know what we do anymore.”
Her eyes smiled. I assumed her lips did too, but masks have robbed us of that treat. She peeled strands of hair out of her face. “Is that your car,” she asked, pointing behind me.
“Yeah,” I replied, then checked myself. “For the day I mean. Seemed like a nice day for a road trip, so I rented it and drove up here.”
She smiled, waving her hand. “My brother’s Jeep,” she said. “He’s going to kill me for getting it wet.”
“Well,” I offered, “if you wait long enough, he’ll never know.”
She shrugged, nodding in agreement. I yanked at the neck of my shirt, freeing it from my skin momentarily. My clothes had shifted from damp and annoying to cold and uncomfortable. I couldn’t wait for the sun to come back out to dry them off.
Nicole drew her legs up under her and leaned on one arm. Her shorts exposed all of her thighs; smooth, gently tanned curves rounded in all the right places. My eyes followed them up the flare of her hips and pinch of her waist, leading me higher until they stopped abruptly at the bulge of her breasts. Two fingertip-sized nipples strained against the fabric of her tee shirt.
I looked away quickly, hoping she hadn’t noticed me staring, shifting my position to cover the curiosity of my cock. Again I tried to extricate myself from the situation. And again she interrupted.
“How’s your summer been,” she asked, crossing her legs and leaning over her lap a little. I lifted my eyes to avoid her breasts.
“Strange,” I replied finally. “Really strange. I mean, you’re the first person I’ve been this close to that I don’t work with or hasn’t delivered me food. It’s a strange way to live.”
“Me too,” she agreed. You’re the first one I’ve been in a car with since April.”
I tried to look away, but I couldn’t. Her eyes were magnetic. Her tone captivating. Her legs…. She watched me watching her, breathing slow and deep. Leaning back, she crossed her arms over her chest and rubbed her shoulders.
“You know,” she said, drawing out her words, “I really need to get out of these wet clothes.” I broke free, turning away, unsure of what my eyes would do if they remained focused on her.