The words over at Three word Wednesday are feign, imply and virtue.
She walks by like she always does, feigning interest as I cut the grass in a pair of shorts and a grungy pair of high-top sneakers.
The sun has baked my skin kinda coppery, much better than the fish-belly-white of the long winter that’s just passed. An exercise regimen, tons of sit-ups and pushups, has melted not only winter's fat, but the last of the baby flab I’ve carried since my youth.
And yet she walks by with disinterest, casually leaving her house and letting her hands play in the billows of the simple sun dresses she fancies.
Funny though, her path always seems to take her past my place.
Each time my shirt is off.
I wave, like I always do, over the buzzing whirl of the mower blade and she turns her head toward the street. Usually, my face grows hot, the skin of my cheeks go red and I race the mower toward the backyard to hide. And pout.
I release the handle and the mower dies.
She stops, placing her right foot next to her left and flexes her petite hands into fists, which implies the anger that blossoms in the pink flushness of her neck, as tendons snap to attention as she clenches her jaw tight.
Slowly, she turns to face me.
My tail, which looks exactly like an old man’s crooked pinky finger, twitches expectantly, like it’s itching for a fight.
The protrusion, physicians have told me, is likely the result of over-active bone development in the womb, which simply settled in my coccyx. They call it a bony exostosis, a benign “tumor.”
My hippie parents, who watched over my birth in a half-filled hot tub with a midwife and a medicine man (who, I’m told, shook his dick at me when I let go my first screams of life), declined to have it removed, along with my foreskin.
Mother calls it quaint.
Dad says it’s bitchin’.
I’ve had a pair of boning sheers to it several times, after scrapes on the soccer field, or in the prison-like communal showers of the boys’ locker room. I, however, lack the balls to excise it, so much as it is.
“It’s the tail, isn’t it? Too freakish for a stuck-up bitch like you.”
Her hardened eyes soften, the creases in her brow fade. Slowly, methodically, she gathers the fabric of her dress into her fingers and raises her arms, and thus reveals the soft curve of her hips, the swell of her breasts.
All four of them - two perfectly round sets, each nipple and areola the color of bubble gum.
“It’s not so much the tail,” she says through the gauzy fabric of her dress. “It’s a question of my virtue. Boys of your age are so ungodly hormonal.”