We drove to the beach; I think it was Wednesday, nearing the end of August. I loved being there. The sun came out early in the morning every day. It was warm, the perfect end of summer, nothing like London. He was driving and I was looking at the light being reflected on the bonnet of the car.
fascinate me. In twenty minutes we were by the beach. It was a nudist beach or ‘la page du naturism’ as the French call it. It felt slightly awkward being surrounded by all these naked people, everywhere, displaying themselves to the sun, absorbing it. He was not shy at all but then again I am. In no time all his clothes landed on the sand and he was there in all his beauty, just like that, uncovered, mimicking his surroundings. His body stretched out on to the hot sand, rubbing against it, his skin sucking up the radiating warmth.
The sultry air.
The sound of the waves.
He closed his dark eyes. I kept looking at him, observing him, studying his body from his head to his toes and back again, but my eyes would always return to the centre of his body, to his navel. Since reading Kundera that morning I could not think of anything other than navels. They were floating in my head, around me, I could not get them out and now at ‘la page du naturism’ they were present literally everywhere.
‘Le nombril’ seduces us.
We are mesmerised.
H y p n o t i s e d.
I could hardly take my eyes off his navel. I kept staring at it. I felt paralysed. I thought to attempt to compare mine with his. Could he feel it? My eyes fixated on his stomach, scanning every little detail. His belly button seemed deeper, much darker and kind of more like that of a hole. Compared to his, mine looked strangely shaped but nonetheless mysterious. I suppose it is a natural characteristic of the navel,
they are mysterious.
There was this thin hair trail, which led from his chest towards his tummy surrounding the navel. His navel was this little hole surrounded by hair, holding in all the darkness of this sun filled day. At first I wanted to touch it, then I thought to bend my head slightly towards his stomach to lick it. To circle around it with my tongue, to then dip into it, as deep as it would allow of me. What would it taste like? Salty? Sweaty? Has sand from the beach already inhabited his hole? How would it taste? Would it leave an aftertaste in my mouth? Finally I desired to smell it. His little deep dark navel activated all my senses. I was intrigued by that little dark hole.
His navel became my sole desire.
It happened to be the centre of my universe.
Attraction t o a h o l e.
We crave for a discovery.
He fell asleep, the comfort of the sun and sand, perhaps a combination of both made him sleepy. As he breathed in and out, his stomach went up and down, up and down in regular rhythms. His navel spread, opening up when he inhaled the sultry air, it went up just for a short time and then back, the navel slowly retracting as he exhaled. Sucking in the darkness of the day.
His body stretched out on the sand, exposed to the sun. I noticed little drops of sweat rolling from his neck down to his torso, following the hair trail towards his stomach, falling into his navel.
The drops of sweat fell into the navel,
filled in the hole,
r e f l e c t i n g the sun.
Martin Sekera: BNC 2017 Artist Page