Between Storms

Natalie Meredith Art

The birds were a buzz, hunting in the breath between storms; fighting over something of worldly importance to them, like a Dorito.

Bob paddled over from the other peak. Tried to take the first wave off me. I took off late, behind him, and he kicked out.

I don’t want to turn this into some kind of feminist rant. Nothing wrong with them, I just don’t feel intellectually qualified enough to wholly address the subject. I’d rather just casually mention breastfeeding and that men sometimes feel so entitled to take what they want. That’s why Bob paddled over and, on the first sight of a wave, assumed it was his; that I, a woman, would back off and let him take it. This is exactly why I had to go, of course. Later he made small talk with me. Asked about my husband and how his work’s going.

I said “Good, thanks for asking” and then pondered in the blue silence of wave waiting if ‘thanks for asking’ is another way of saying don’t ask me anything else.

I didn’t ask for all this wild blood, but it’s what I got instead of surrendering.