Among us brothers it was fairly obvious who got the sexy gene, and I can truthfully say that it wasn’t me. One summer Xavier, Marc and I shared a vacation apartment by the beach on the Atlantic coast. Although we had a great time filled with sports, naps and other guy stuff, it was relatively void of female encounters… except that one time at the local night club.
We’ve been here for a while, chatting and enjoying our drinks to the rhythm of hip ‘house music’. I disappear in the bathroom while Xavier fetches a new round of beverages. By the time we got back Marc is being courted by two girls competing for his attention. Xavier and I exchange a smirk and sip our champagne in a distance while Marc exchanges details with his new fans. Then Xavier hands him a glass and quips: “You’re impossible. We can’t leave you five minutes alone!” The effect of the sexy gene on women is as quick as it is terrifying.
The next day, all three of us are chilling on the beach, perfecting our tans in our oh-so-flattering black speedos. A Stephen King book in hand, my mind is engulfed in the world of “Misery”. As psychopath nurse Annie Wilkes lifts her axe above her favorite writer’s ankle, I hear a feminine voice: “Could someone please put some sunscreen on my back?” I tilt my head up. A girl in a bikini straight out of a Playboy Magazine centerfold stands a few feet away, holding a tube of sunscreen. She obviously has her eye on Xavier and Marc: my brothers are several years older and they both feature athlete bodies with broad shoulders, sculpted pecs and six-pack abs. I, on the other hand, am a skinny bookworm who often struggles opening a twist-off jam container. I turn to the side, waiting for either Marc or Xavier to volunteer for the chore. No movement. I clear my throat loudly in their direction. Still nothing. I look at the girl and say: “Sure, no problem!” Only then does she notice me. She hesitates for a few seconds before nodding with a sigh of disappointment. My sixteen year-old heart pumps at full speed as I take my time applying the unctuous ointment on the centerfold’s silky skin. A speedo is the last thing to wear in such circumstances but the fashion of California-style surf trunks won’t wash over these shores for another 10 years. Once my duty is thoroughly fulfilled I return to my towel, grab my book and dive back into the sinister house in snow-covered Colorado where Annie Wilkes is tired after holding that heavy axe up in the air for the past few minutes. A good hour later, Xavier then Marc awake from their synchronized nap. “Guys, you’ll never guess what happened while you were napping…” I am not sure they ever believed me.
Maybe my brothers inherited the sexy gene, but I was lucky to skip the nap gene.