A Shower With My Sister: 2004

February 21, 2013

Recent picture of my sisters and I from Summer 2012 in State College. Apparently, Child took this photo. Ellen is the one on the left.

Recent picture of my sisters and I from Summer 2012 in State College. Apparently, Child took this photo. Ellen is the one on the left.

I was pregnant.  I was also unwed, reading The Scarlet Letter, and really knowing what an utter turd ball Dimmesdale is. It was near the holidays, and I was still “seeing” the fetus’s father. But not seeing him in the forever way, in the “we’re in this mess together” way.

I visited home for Christmastime and Ellen was completely fascinated by my breasts.  I was, too. They were blue-veined moons. In my dark bedroom in my college apartment, I had taken my shirt off and stood in a mirror and took flash-bright, grainy photographs of them with a disposable camera. I wanted to remember forever the last time my tits were perfect. Ellen asked if she could touch them.

“Sure.” I called her bluff. She wouldn’t really touch them.

Her own breasts are tiny, A-cups, and are on the list of things I envy about Ellen. She tentatively patted me through my clothes, offered, “I love boobs” by way of apology.

I want to be more surprised that my naïve, thoughtful, Christian honor student of a sister loves boobs. She asked if I would shower with her, she would like to see my breasts.

“Yes.” I said, without hesitating, surprising myself and my parents who are standing right there, looking on with a mixture of pride and horror. I secretly hoped Ellen was a lesbian.

I forgot about the sex bruises on my shoulders and chest, from recent and rambunctious lovemaking with the father.

Ellen and I undress in our parents’ bathroom. We only look at each other’s faces.

“How’s school?” I ask.

“Busy. How about you?”

“Wonderful and unimportant.”

“Yeah,” she lets out a nervous laugh, the only signal that she’s feeling odd, “I bet.”

My parents had one of those large, tile box showers with two shower heads and about 8 square feet of space.  Designed for the co-shower.  “It came with the house,” they said. “We don’t use it like that!” But then my mother’s most prevalent piece of advice regarding love relationships is, “Keep your husband well-fed and well-sexed.”

Ellen was puzzled by my slightly puffy body as the water and steam mingled between us.

We soaped ourselves in silence. Ellen’s gaze drifted to my breasts. I did not look at her body. I cannot recall the color of her pubic hair.

She asked, “What are those bruises from?”

I wanted to protect her, so I said, “You don’t want to know.”

Being perfect, she dropped it.

I was grateful, but I regret now that I didn’t tell her.

I wish I said instead, “From the best sex ever. I mean, at least there’s that. At least I got knocked up from sensational fucking, and not from getting raped or the first time I did it. You should not wait till you’re married to have sex, Ellen. Sex is fun.”

In the conversation we should’ve had, Ellen would angle a look of teenaged incredulity at me.

“Pregnant sex is fun, too. I guess it’s all the extra blood down there. That’s what the book says.  Sounds kooky to me. But you should get on birth control. And don’t feel guilty about it.”

Towns: