Sunglasses, Sandals, Nothing Else

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Author’s note: This mostly fictional entry in the Nude Day 2021 contest is set in old California before ubiquitous digital devices and USA invasions of Iraq. All players are at least 18. Tags: romance, multiracial, Mojave Desert, jackrabbit shack, sisters, EMT, National Guard, reptile brain. Views expressed may not be the author’s. Details may be incorrect or invented. The startup may seem slow. Enjoy!

Hot times high on the Mojave Desert

===== Friday, late spring, late 1980s =====

Classes were over for the day and I was in town abusing stringed instruments. I did not expect this conversation.

“Hey Greg, let me crash on your sofa for the summer and I’ll give you a great deal on that used Ovation you’ve been angsting over. I’ll split food and utilities, okay?”

Paige’s pretty azure eyes fluttered hopefully.

Could I be bribed? My scarred acoustic 6-string Harmony Sovereign guitar, with its easy fretboard for my long fingers, played and sounded okay, but I really loved the high-tech 12-string Ovation Legend’s rich brightness.

And Paige would probably be an okay roommate in my little desert shack on the far side of town. She was tall, cute, some years younger, and not too sarcastic on me.

Any makeup she wore was not obvious. But what does a guy like me know?

Paige’s family had long owned a small string of camera-and-music stores scattered around the Southland. My dad got his photo supplies from them in our smoggy old suburban hometown when he was a teen. I now bought film stuff, and handled instruments beyond my price range, at their store in this dusty high-desert town next to the sprawling Mesquite Ridge joint-forces military base.

I knew Paige ran the store. She confessed her family had exiled her here between high school and university for ‘seasoning’, meaning a season of on-her-own, sink-or-swim business experience. And I knew she lived in the apartment upstairs.

“What’s up that you need my sofa?” I was perplexed.

“Dad wants to focus on business down in the fucking man-heap…” I knew she meant greater Los Angeles “…so he’s selling this store. I’ll work here over the summer to transition the new owners. But they want the apartment right away so I really need somewhere to park my butt.”

A rather nice butt topped long, pale legs in a knee-length jade dress, but I said nothing. I did not remark on her well-filled cream blouse, either. Did I look? Of course!

“You’re not too terrible,” she continued, “I mean, you’ve been a pretty decent guy so far…” her baby-blue peepers fluttered again “…and I don’t have much stuff here, mostly clothes, some books, and my tenor sax, and I promise not to annoy you, and rentals around here suck, and I can cook…” her words ran on nervously “…so how about it?”

The VHF radio on my belt beeped just then.

“Hey, that’s my signal.” I abandoned a tenor banjo and zipped up my reflective orange-and-white EMT vest. “I need to get to the ambulance barn pronto.” I made a fast decision. “Sure, you can move in. But we’ll talk later.”

I was quickly out her door and into my old long-bed stepside Chevy pickup, then busy dodging traffic. I reached the county fire station and its adjacent two-slot car barn our ambulance co-op shared with the fire crew’s rescue unit just as my usual partner Alicia, a military surgeon’s trim wife, drove up. She ran the radio for details; I ran a fast checklist and rolled our rig to the road.

The rescue unit stayed dark so I knew this would not be too bad a mess. Fine with me; I did not really enjoy blood. Not my fetish. Was I odd for a medic?

“Fight at the Roadrunner,” Alicia said. We knew that off-post bar all too well.

“Code two.” Make haste without siren and flashing lights.

“Sheriff has two victims for transport to Mesquite ER. Probable fractures.” Drunk troops whacking each other with bar stools, then. Cleaner than bayonets or firearms. Whew.

“Deputy Dugan is our contact.” Good; no bullshit from her.

We fit two gurneys in the rig. Our straightforward run to Mesquite Medical Center was just a pick-em-up, watch-em-breathe, drop-em-off. As senior EMT, Alicia handled the Emergency Room paperwork, and I fetched us barely palatable coffees and donuts. We were soon back at the ambulance barn and then each rolling to our own homes.

We were on-call EMTs, Emergency Medical Technicians, a fat grade below Paramedics. We never hung around. We were not paid to wait; the co-op only paid a pittance per mile per run. We did this to be useful, not for riches.

We joked of ways to boost our incomes a bit. Greasing the front steps at the Eight-Ball bar would provide many nice, clean fracture victims to transport. But we would have to work the night shift to get away with that. Get-em when they stagger out and kamikaze after ‘last call’. Right.

Alicia had told me of her dating life a couple of decades ago. She grew up mostly at Pearl Harbor and dated many sailors but only ankara dansöz escortlar once each. They would have a good time, and then he took her home on base… which the posted sign identified as an admiral’s residence. No sailors ever came back. Talk about frustrating Daddy issues! Yikes!


Paige smiled nervously when I opened the store door.

“Really?” she asked. I nodded. She spun from behind the counter and hugged me… the first time we had touched. Her strawberry blonde bob smelled good to me. Her hard nipples felt okay, too.

An older gent occupying a stool across the store stopped playing a Celtic mandolin. “Get a room, kids.”

“Working on it,” Paige laughed. “Right after I close up.” She peered into my boney face and grey eyes. “Unless you’ll be busy?”

“No, nothing special.” She really was a charmful armful and I had nothing entertaining or critical planned tonight.

She released me and stepped back. “Ummm, can I bring a few things down to put in your truck? There’s more than I can fit on my motorbike. But even with my boxes, you’ll have room for your new guitar.”

“Sure,” I said, “my pickup has space. And what’s your deal on the Ovation? Bribe me.”

“I took it in partial trade for a vintage Martin. I can let you have it, with factory case, for a tenth of list.” She quoted an absurdly low price. “It’s like reverse rent. You’ll pay a little for me to live with you. Cool?”

As Brits would say, I would be a cunt to turn down a 90% discount offer. And I am usually not a clueless cunt. But I had to stay real.

“Bribe accepted,” I said. “And my jackrabbit shack is clean. But I’ve got to warn you, there’s no privacy inside, I sleep naked, and I’ll have girlfriends over. The sofa is only a few feet from the bed with nothing but floor in between. Think you can watch from a safe distance?”

“I can probably stand it if you don’t get too kinky,” she grinned, and hugged me again. “No armadillos, okay?” She snorted. “And I don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends here to sneak in. Anyway, let me write up the sale. Your personal cheque is fine. I’ll pack my stuff after closing; it’ll be by the freight door in back.”

We formally shook hands on the deal. I wrote my cheque and said, “Sneak in some clean, tasty girls if you want. But I have things to do right now. See you at closing time.”

The older gent across the room snorted and played a sarcastic Breton mandolin riff. We ignored him.

Paige and I had no romantic or lustful history, only polite, casual interactions. I wondered where this would go.


I was back just as Paige flipped the CLOSED sign and switched off the store lights. Emptying her upstairs apartment yielded scant boxes of belongings to transport; my bargain guitar in its hardshell case easily fit with her few cartons under the pickup’s tarp.

“I don’t keep much up here,” she said. “Most of my history is still in my folks’ house down in smoggy sluburbia.” That was another Los Angeles area reference. “I’d be gone this autumn anyway; got a business scholarship at UCLA. Damn, I’ll miss clean desert air!” She inhaled deeply.

Paige’s Yamaha motorbike trailed me to my weathered cinderblock shanty at the edge of town, just across a raw road from the defunct church day-school temporarily housing Mesquite Community College until its permanent campus was built. I took a full load of classes there. My GI Bill vet’s benefits, National Guard, and ambulance pay covered school, fuel, food, rent, whatever.

Rent was rightfully cheap for the brutalist 27-foot-square “jackrabbit shack”. (That was a minimal structure required to homestead Western public lands.) A cactus patch in front provided savage décor. My only neighbors were snakes and the school. Fine by me.

Privacy? Right. Tinfoil over the windows helped. A door by the bathroom opened to a sandy space hidden behind a green wall of tall, thick, desert shrubs — Larrea tridentata, the field guide said. I could shower, step just outside, and privately air-dry, fast, while viewing miles of open desert.

The main room held my raised king bed; a shoddy desk, shelves, and office chair; a sanitized big thrift-shop sofa, beat-up armchair, and what passed for a coffee table; a scratched 1950s breakfast table-and-chairs set; and an open makeshift closet I could extend for Paige to hang dresses and blouses next to my uniforms and civvies.

A compact kitchen lurked behind a divider wall. The shack was pretty basic. Whadya expect for a hundred a month?

Paige examined my quarters. “This looks good. Neat, and no rats or roaches.” Sure, I stayed clean!

She looked further. “I don’t see a television.”

“No clear broadcast signals out here behind Jojoba Hill. I can’t afford cable and I’d never get any schoolwork done if I had a working TV — I’m kinda addicted to SciFi flicks — so I’m happy to skip the boob tube. We’ll just have to talk or read or something.”

She nodded.

Her boxes unloaded into little space. She stashed ankara saatlik veren escortlar her books and bulky saxophone case, and hung or shelved her clothes. A carton of foodstuffs went to the kitchen.

“I’ll fix dinner tonight if you’re okay with guacamole and chili dogs. Got good wine, too.”

“Best roommate ever,” I proclaimed. “Now excuse me while I clean up.”

She watched me peel naked enroute to my minimal bathroom and its skinny shower. I sang Springhill Mine Disaster in my baritone range, louder than the water flow, my low notes bouncing off the hard walls. A sensual scalp shampoo; a full body scrub; rinse off well. Then step into huarache sandals, the kind that leave Goodyear imprints in the sand. Recycled tires make cheap, sturdy footwear, y’know.

“Next!” I called. Paige poked her head around the kitchen divider wall. “Clean towels hanging on the door if you want,” I promised. I felt her sharp eyes on my glistening bare ass as I escaped outside to a warm, dry twilight.

No snakes or scorpions occupied the back door’s concrete entry pad. The surrounding brush did not rustle with disturbed creatures. Whew.

The shower squeaked inside. I air-dried, arms wide, and sang the tragic ballad’s last verses. Coyotes howled in the distance. Damn, I loved that chorus!

The shower stopped. The door opened. Paige stepped out wearing only gaudy zories and vivid goosebumps. Pointy pink nipples and wet hair dripped. Her honest strawberry blonde bush was not overly bushy. Pale skin said she spent too much time inside.

“I guess I’d better get used to this,” she said.

She touched my elbow, and shivered when coyotes sang again. Her arm snaked around my waist. I pulled her close and ran my fingers through her wet hair; she smelled even better now. My circumcised cock twitched.

“Hang out here enough and you’ll get a good tan, hey paleface?”

“Not during store hours, dude.” She squeezed my waist. “And working the shop all day gives me an appetite. Dinner in ten. Dress casual.”

She ducked inside, her tight buns wiggling.

I yodeled Lovesick Blues at the coyotes before stepping back indoors. Paige adorned the kitchen in cutoff jeans, a form-fitting red tank top with no bra evident, and paisley socks instead of those sequined zories. I figured my tie-dyed baggy shorts and a thin Aztec calendar t-shirt covered me enough. Ugly GI-issue socks sufficed.

We had hugged naked but had not even kissed yet so yes, a sliver of decency seemed appropriate.

I found a Brazilian station on the HeathKit shortwave radio I had soldered together; scratchy sambas enveloped us. Her slinky hips swayed as she assembled dinner. The food satisfied and the wine left us only a bit blitzed. Were we horny, too? I would not push Paige into sex — she might take the guitar back!

After a shared kitchen cleanup, we sat on the sofa, not yet made up as her bed. We drank more wine and chatted about our histories and hopes. And about music.

“The Ovation is calling me,” I said; “let’s play. Whaddya know?” I blew my pitch pipe and fine-tuned the 12-string.

Paige gave me a pitying look. “I’ve been in music all my life. I know almost *everything*.”

I claim music studies in my past, too. I was no slouch.

She prepped her sax, set the mouthpiece for concert pitch, and blew a mellow jazzy riff. She peered at me.

“And I’ve heard you in the shop, guy. Play something.”

I laid down rhythm and bass patterns and harmonic riffs; her tenor sax wailed and rasped and sang. We toyed with bebop, blues, and bossa nova, then a mad, punky attempt at Gershwin that left us laughing. I vocalized without causing too much anguish. With rehearsals, we could be hot buskers on any big-city street corner!

We made music till almost midnight with our clothes still in place. Yes, we noticed stiff nipples under our thin tops.

“I’m off-call for ambulance duty this weekend,” I said, draining my wine, “but I have strenuous school work all day tomorrow. Do what you want around here, but I’ve been up since dawn and I need sleep now. Will pillows and a light sleeping bag on the sofa be good for you?”

“Should be.” She sounded disappointed. “But what kind of school work is that?” Her hand rubbed my knee,

“I’ve got an Earth Science geology hike in the morning, and a Rock-and-Rescue, that’s Rock Climbing and Backcountry Rescue, session in the afternoon. Might have a date in the evening.”

“A date is school work?” Her hand squeezed a little.

“Sometimes we study together. Close enough.”

I stood. She finished her wine, stood, and hugged me. Firm nipples pressed my chest.

We arranged her bedding.

“Sleepy time it is, then,” she said. “You sleep nude? So do I.” She pulled off her thin tank top; her breasts bounced and nipples stayed hard. I slipped my tee over my head, aroused but fatigued. She stepped out of her cutoffs as I kicked off my baggies.

We faced each other naked. My cock throbbed a little.

“I guess I’d better ankara azeri escortlar get used to this,” she giggled, and settled on the sofa. I rolled into my bed and drifted to sleep amid impure thoughts.


Wine and water are only rented, never owned. Bladder pressure, and the sounds of Paige in the bathroom, drove me from bed in the depth of night. I stood naked at the bath door when naked Paige emerged from her oh-dark-hundred piss-and-rinse.

Sanitation fulfilled, I returned to my bed. Not surprisingly, she was in it. I pulled the light comforter over us.

“Can we just cuddle? It’s been awhile for me,” she whispered.

“Pheasant dreams,” I croaked, dry-mouthed. Paige spooned into my back. My impure dreams persisted.

I wondered how many nights she would spend on the sofa. Few, I guessed. I could live with that.


===== Saturday =====

My alarm rang later than on school and ambulance-shift days but it was still rude. So was my bloated morning wood which, since we had squirmed overnight, now rudely poked Paige’s rather nice butt. My hand left her soft breast and whacked into silence the insistent clock on the bedside nightstand. She rolled to face me.

“Hey Greg, how ya doing?” She kissed my lips… no tongue, but our first kiss. “Ummm, I have bad dragon mouth in the morning. I really need to brush my teeth.”

“Me too.” I squeezed her naked ass. “You first. Then how about breakfast? Fresh coffee, nutty granola, sweet apples, and more life-saving coffee.”

“Sure thing,” she said. She climbed over me; nice! I watched her bare butt boogie to the bathroom. I started the coffee perking before it was my turn to sanitize.

Paige had breakfast laid out and coffee poured when I emerged. She stayed naked so I did, too. I fantasized buttering muffins and spilling honey on her sleek pale body, to be licked off, of course. Maybe later.

We finished our coffees and then shared kitchen cleanup duties again; buff, bare buns bumped occasionally. We dried our hands, faced each other naked, and hugged. She raised her lips to mine.

“I handle coffee breath better than dragon breath,” she breathed, and opened her mouth. Our tongues tangled. Hands wandered over naked backs and buns.

I heeded an inner voice, glanced at the plain round wall clock, and pulled back a little.

“I have to go for my geology hike pretty soon.”

“And I have to get to the store. Damn, the new owners want me to stay open tonight. Don’t wait for me.”

We hugged and kissed more, then reluctantly pulled on our garb for the day, her as a motorbiking shopkeeper, me as a backcountry ruffian. We dressed in reverse strip teases, salaciously covering our bodies with exaggerated flair. I waggled my weenie at her.

I could get used to this, I thought.


Paige spun her Yamaha toward town. I was off-call today so I walked across the raw road to the temporary college campus to catch a school van to the geology hike site. I sat with curvy Dalia Ortega, my usual class and hike partner. We chatted on the half-hour ride to a volcanic cindercone and helped each other scramble on the risky, crumbling slopes. That was a good excuse to hold hands.

“I’m sorry, Greg, but I can’t see you tonight and neither can Rosa. Mamá insists we attend some damn function on base and Papá wants us there too. Don’t complain to him, okay?”

“That’s easy ’cause we never discuss you. I guess that means he’s okay with us.”

“Oh, he mentions you every now and then, which for him is a lot. He respects your years in the Army and now the Guard, and your community work on the ambulance for almost no pay, and how you stay cool and don’t screw up in tricky situations on the rocks. And how Rosa and I don’t whine about you.”

“Don’t tell him ’cause I don’t want him to get a swelled head,” I said, “but I’m impressed by him as a decent human, and he doesn’t get arrogant on the rocks.”

Some explanations are called for.

Rosa Ortega was Dalia’s even curvier older sister and I dated both girls, often together. Our ‘dates’ were usually at my place, to save money of course, wink wink.

Rosa was my partner in a tough International Affairs class — together, we ace the course! Because we are sharp! Competition there was fierce. Our classmates were mostly older guys, retired or current officers or senior NCOs from the base. One droll fellow said he had flown here from Virginia in an hour and a half so he must pilot an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Just a CIA puke, then.

The girls’ Papá was bird Colonel Roberto Ortega, the base’s G3 (operations) officer and my usual Rock-and-Rescue climbing partner. We would hit the rocks that afternoon. Yes, we were Bob and Greg, not Sir and Sergeant. No rigid formalities on the rocks.

And no empty formalities that afternoon because the class had a real rescue to handle.

An incautious trooper illegally took his new, not yet insured, Jeep 4×4 — which I later learned he had bought yesterday with his reenlistment bonus — into rugged off-limits terrain too near the Empire of Rocks, where our class trained on eroded giant boulders. He managed to flip over-and-over down a steep, rough slope, breaking a few bones and wrecking his ride. His CB radio still worked and he called for help before passing out.

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