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Everything was at my disposal when I was 18. I would sit on “The World’s Most Famous Beach” with a lit clove in my mouth pretending to be all the writers I had ever read and admired, and laughing with the only girl I believe would set me free. The sun would shine as though tomorrow was nothing more than a rumor, and the women would walk by wearing nothing more than a shoestring around the body parts I was raised to believe were private. They were beautiful. A small town boy in a new city with a huge beach, this is what I’ve been looking at on shelves for years. This was sexy. As the shades beneath the thin cloths got darker, I fell deeper in lust. I was 18. This was sexy.
Things change when you’re educated. Classrooms have little to do with it when you consider yourself a student of the world. In turn I became exposed to women of the world, first introduced to me by Cecil Brown in his novel “The Life and Loves of Mr. Jiveass Nigger.” These women who sat in cafes sipping coffees and martinis and laughing lightly at my lies and real life follies. Fully clothed women who’d raise their hands beside me in class to speak openly about their role in the pending revolution, wearing sweat pants that were rolled over around the waste and a white T-shirt, now raising their glass in front of me in a dimly lit lounge wearing blouses and pin skirts that were unknown to them just three years prior. This was 22 and this was sexy.
Dear Darnell: You’re 30 now. The woman you’re in love with sits at a computer all day, and randomly texts you complaints about coworkers and photos of her making funny faces. Her Mondays are spent on couches with books my David Sedaris and her Tuesday mornings are spent debating with herself about paying me a visit or going to happy hour with the girls. She laughs at my corny jokes, and asks questions about the life I lived on the beach with woman she knows would never be sexier than she is at this very moment.
You are 30, and sexy includes: stamped passports, college degrees hanging from a wall, and enough money in the bank to take a random trip to Paris in April just to see the rain the films were always talking about. It’s that law of attraction that tells us “like attracts like.” I look good on beaches in Freeport in my speedos, and she’s gorgeous in her high-waist bathing suit on the edge of Costa Rica. Our degrees hang like art in the Louvre, and we eat out when neither of us feel like cooking. Like attracts like, and I am not above the law.
While you’re not too far removed from turning your neck on a beach when the 20-year-old coeds walk by in what seems like Saran Wrap, you’ve redefined her as cute, and the woman you love is the only one you can find sexy.