Scrabble tiles & string bikinis

I copied a Facebook friend who wanted titles for her graphic novel. God only knows why, because she has a glorious imagination of her own. I got a few Facebook friends to suggest blog titles for me. Yesterday’s Lisboa is a woman was the first response to the resulting suggestions, and this is the second.

If I took a photo of the boxes containing all my photos, then you would realise why the string bikini photo took two hours to find. Having finally laid my hands on it,  I decided it was too ghastly to be converted to digital format, as they say. Poolside was not really my thing, and black and white wobbly stripes did me no favours – neither did those strings.

Instead I offer you a photo of my beloved and I on one of a handful of weekend days back in 1988, I suppose, at someone else’s private swimming pool.


How odd to look at this photo all these years later. It almost seems as if it is not me, as if it is not us. But then I recall the irksome feel of the slasto paving under my left foot, the welcome taste of the first drag on my cigarette here hidden from view, the smell of the suntan lotion I had just spread on my lover’s back, and how I have always hated the residual greasiness of that on the palms of my hands.  The bikini was not mine; both belonged to João. I suppose I had to wear something.

I never owned a Scrabble set either, but can probably back up my bravado by saying I am a pretty good player. I was a better player in the old days when the two of us teamed up.  My beloved, who could not spell for toffee, was lucky when drawing new tiles from the cloth bag, and good at spotting the high-value gaps on the board. She would whisper in my ear the two intersecting words already played to indicate to me where to focus my creative skill. Invariably we won, but did not care if we did or not. This infuriated her sister, who had to win come what may. Her sister took the photo above. I suppose I should thank her for that.

©2017 Allison Wright

Note: My thanks go to janeishly for the title.

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