The smile instantly fades from the woman’s face. With her arms crossed, she no longer looks confident and sassy. Instead, she just looks pissed off. I suppose that’s fair. It was an irritating sort of thing to say, dismissive and insulting and contemptuous in a way that some dumb retort like “Fuck you, bitch”could never hope to be. I don’t even know why I’d said it. I suppose I was just bored of the conversation and looking for an easy way out.
It doesn’t look like it’s coming, though. The woman is just standing there, staring at me and seething. Maybe she wants an apology. But if I’m not getting my easy way out, she’s certainly not getting an apology.
“And besides,” I say raising the coconut to my lips, slipping the straw into my mouth, drinking deep. “I may not be rich in spirit, but I’m certainly rich in spirits.” Another pull from the drink. I smack my lips, let out a satisfied sigh, and present the woman with the drink. “Rum?”
She grunts, shakes her head, and walks away. I take another sip of rum and turn to watch her as she goes, her hips moving rhythmically from side to side with a noticeable, if not exaggerated, sway. A stream of half-remembered facts come to me unbidden: women with wider hips are more likely to engage in one night stands than women with skinnier hips. Women whose hips sway when they walk are more likely to experience vaginal orgasms than those whose hips do not.
Once the flood gate’s opened, the torrent doesn’t stop. But the information isn’t actionable. It’s just trivia. Just data that takes up space. Doubtless there are men out there who would take these facts and look for women that matched them, high-fiving themselves for using science to get laid. Doubtless there are men who, had they seen my interaction with that woman, would have high-fived me for standing up to her, for putting her in her place, for telling her off. The pool not even a hundred feet away from me is probably full of both types, a third type that combines both traits, a fourth that’s even worse. The pool is probably a petri dish of lurid desires and misogyny and misplaced anger that the world isn’t as easy to understand and interface with as we would want it to be. Or maybe it is and I’m the one who’s doing it wrong. Maybe there was something I could have done and said that would have made her laugh, made her follow me back to the villa, made her take off her top and her bottom and get down on her hands and knees.
The tendency in mammals for the female to get down low, her front limbs beneath her, her hips up in the air is called lordosis behavior. It’s involuntary in other mammals, but deliberate in humans. The appeal of high heels may lie in the way they can cause the hips to be thrust out and bring an arch to the back, tweaking some atavistic impulse our minds have forgotten but our bodies remember all too well.
More unwanted facts: our birthdays were within a week of each other. Her eyes were definitely blue or green (possibly both) and that is not a tautology, because it excludes brown, hazel, and any of the infinite designer colors. She never wore white when I knew her. Never.