Optional

Painting toner through her split ends the toilet gurgled barfed all over her bathroom floor. She spilled the bottle of box colour down the cabinet pushing the floor mat through the water dragging her towel off the rack trying to fight the water back, all to no avail, sloshed her arm behind the toilet twisted the water off. Soaked to her thighs, she looked at her reflection, her thinning hair held out in all directions by clumps of toner greying at the roots. She let her gloved hands slap to her sides leaned against a package of toilet paper, closed her eyes for longer than she had planned.

Sun–bleached ball cap, a leftover from an ex, pulled tight over her brow, she stomped her way through the sand to the water. A bent metal sign read clothing optional. She curled her lip. Two women, apple bodies on chopstick legs wearing only sunglasses waved from a distance. She stared at their breasts bushes remembered to smile. She sat stared at the shades of grey in their braids as they passed. She smoked a joint to its end fell asleep.

When she woke the sun was setting. She took her hat off tousled her hair. She took her top off, eyed for other beach–goers. She stood dropped her shorts panties. The thick breeze felt good on her skin. She waded into the water fell against it. She closed her eyes, arms rippling at her sides, chose not to fight the water.