Not All Me
A few weeks ago, my wife and I went for a walk down on the beach at twilight. It’s something we do every so often, because it’s the best time of day for such a thing, and the uninterrupted activity makes for better discussions. In Long Beach, the ocean is down 15 to 20 feet from the city proper (it’s why the collapse of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is NO BIG DEAL here), so you have to climb stairs to get back to the street once you’re done with your walk. On this particular evening, I emerged at the top of the stairs—chest heaving with breath, because I am still hideously out of shape, despite my current diet and exercise regimen—only to find a woman there, out for a run, waiting for a traffic light to change. She had a rape whistle wrapped around her right hand, and when she sensed my arrival—not hard, given my panting—her fingers tightened around it instinctively. She didn’t even look at me. She just did it.