‘Shall we go to the taverna today? Do you want to?’ He turned and looked at her as she levered herself up on one elbow and shaded her eyes with her free hand. Tiny patches of sand, stuck there by sweat, blotched her breasts and flanks; there were crumbs of sand in the strip of pubic hair and a dusting of it in the damson-coloured crease where her buttocks began.

‘I don’t mind.’ He tried to anticipate her. ‘We’ve got the bottle of water. I’m not really hungry.’

‘It’s such a hike, all across that vineyard.’ She watched the others who had come on the boat getting ready to leave the beach, the girls pulling T-shirts and bikini-bottoms on, the men getting intò shorts. Manos was rounding them up and herding them towards the inland path, his cigarette-holder jutting from the side of his mouth and twitching up and down as he spoke round it to give instructions. ‘We mus’ be here once more by 3 o’clock,’ he said. ‘The sea is perhaps not soft then.’

Greasy Lake
New York