by on March 7, 2023 :: 0 comments

photo "A Time to Reflect" by Tyler Malone

Rozie vapes, tanning in high afternoon sun in a bikini, lounging by the roof-top pool on her tall apartment building. She scrolls through socials as she relaxes, surveying her skin every now and then, lavishly applying sun screen on her long hands, legs and the upper body portion. Her white skin slowly browning into light almond. She smiles as she reads the daily posts. Her lips spreading until her pearly teeth are showing a mystery simper, coining the corners.

She receives a call and speaks in a foreign language. She laughs and changes position in the lounge chair. She splays her legs every now then to get sunlight into the inner thighs. Then she turns over and lies on her belly to let her back get full exposure to the sunlight. Her upper body and head inclines, propped up on the forehands under it. Still scrolling her iPhone at the same time.

It is the sunlight she seeks to bask. The light caresses her bottom, her sinewy arms as it also speaks to her in a way that no one else understands. She closes her eyes and looks at the sun and communicates with it which only the sun understands. Her phone rings again. She exhales before she picks it up. She speaks in the same foreign language like before.

A good fifteen minutes of monotone talk. Her pitch rises. She changes position, stretching on her back this time. However, she is yelling and crying instead of laughing, this time. The sun tries to appease her, bestowing warmth upon her slim waist, and rounded buttocks, flat midriff. But it fails to placate Rozie.

She is unsettled. The sun moves and so does the warmth. Considerable shade descends on her warm body which is starting to feel cooler. Much cooler. She trembles slightly and hangs up the iPhone, frowning. She murmurs in her tongue as though she is talking to the sun.

“Mum thinks forces are conspiring against us. She thinks we, my boyfriend and I, split up because of some cosmic force preventing us. Who cares what happens to me? He was clearly cheating on me, banging other girls in front of me. Does it not hurt? Or is it supposed to turn me on?

“Mum says, boys will be boys. That’s what they do. You tolerate. Yeah, right, who decides that? Like who decides what one must wear? I can wear next to nothing, or cover from head to toe, nor wear makeup, either way my life, my choice, no? I say, hell, yeah.

“Mum says, I gotta wear more make up, I gotta look pretty, desirable for boys’ eyes. She also says, I gotta cover up for that’s what men want from pure women. I don’t do any of that, that’s why my boyfriend runs away. He flirts with girls who present themselves to be more desirable. Like you are running away, sun. I’m all cold and shivery. I could chase you all day, yet not get enough of you.”

The sun responds, transiting notches away, farther this time. Rozie vapes a few more puffs and sits up. She wraps herself waist down with a slit saffron sarong. Her top part mostly bare, can barely keep up with the tremors.

“It’s cold,” she picks up her bag, stands up on her two bare feet, and walks out of the shade to pursue a new psychedelic sun on another day.

editors note:

When a cold world stabs so hard that it burns and we can’t tell the difference between extremes, that’s when we know we’re lost. ~ Tyler Malone

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