I was still deciding if I wanted to go along with Sabrina painting my picture when me and Joyce headed downstairs for breakfast. I got some eggs, bacon and deviled kidneys, and took the empty chair next to Sabrina.
“Have you decided?”
“I’m not sure about one thing. Meemaw – my grandmother – brought up a good point…that the painting might end up in a somewhere where lots of people would be looking at me and I wouldn’t even know who, where or when.”
“That’s true, but…”
“…but it’s more Sabrina’s painting than a painting of you,” interrupted Luke, who’d sat down on the other side of Sabrina. “That’s what people are gonna be looking at, since the people looking at it are going to be out to look at art and not hot guys. Nobody stalked me after the portrait of me had been on exhibition.”
I was already pretty much ready to say yes, but that last comment of Luke’s cinched it.
“Ok you’ll do it, you mean?,” Sabrina asked.
“Yeah, but we don’t have to tell everyone, do we?” I wasn’t even sure I wanted Allan to know. He was sure to make a Dorian Gray joke.
“No one needs to know until the painting is done. It may even not work out and I won’t want anyone to see the finished product.
“Now we just need to find time for you to sit. I’m thinking I’d like to paint you outdoors…you obviously belong outdoors…but that’s hard to schedule, even with the days getting longer. We can talk about it during the week, although I’d like to get started as soon as possible.”
Justen didn’t allow phones in the dining room, so it wasn’t until we’d gotten up that we exchanged phone numbers. Jonas and Sabrina wanted to leave after breakfast, but, when Justen found out me and Luke wanted to hang out some more and so Joyce would be around until tea time, he talked Jonas into staying for more bridge. So Sabrina got her drawing things and went outside to make what she called some “preliminary sketches” for the painting.
By that point it had been 30 minutes since I’d finished breakfast, and both me and Luke ran upstairs to get into board shorts. He said he was as sore as I was, and that maybe we should try the jacuzzi next to the pool. I barely noticed it the day before. There was also another small pool next to the jacuzzi…which Luke said was a “cold plunge” that you got into so you could cool off after you’d been in the jacuzzi.
I reckon we spent fifteen minutes in the jacuzzi and that it helped, since we both then dived into the pool like our legs didn’t hurt anymore. We went through every kind of race we could think of again (there was no beating Luke in the butterfly), spent some time with the water polo ball (neither of us was going to let the other win so we finally quit when the score was tied), and did some sillyass shit like seeing who could hold his breath underwater the longest (that was me lol.)
We had sandwiches and beer out by the pool again, waited our 30 minutes, then got back in the pool for some more splashing around, although, by then, we were both gassed. Luke suggested the jacuzzi again, so we got in. I’m not a big fan of jacuzzis – remember I like cool showers – but I did want to find out what the cold plunge thing was all about. Luke just told me to jump in right after I got out of the jacuzzi. So I did.
And I fuckin almost had a heart attack.
Once I caught my breath and my heart got back to normal I had to do it again, so I got back in the jacuzzi to heat myself up again. Then back for another heart attack, and then back into the jacuzzi. All in all, I cold plunged myself three times. Luke thought it was hysterical that I kept getting in and out, and I’m probably not making it sound as much fun as it was, but, believe me y’all, I reckon it was the most fun thing I did with water all weekend. And I did a shitload of fun things with water.
I might have gone for the cold plunge another time, but Luke said it was getting on time for tea, and I had to shower, change and pack. Even the overhead shower seemed like an anticlimax after the cold plunge, but I still stood under it until Joyce rapped on the glass when she came upstairs to get her things packed. Then we all had tea in the drawing room. I was hungry again and ate a whole mess of little sandwiches. I don’t get why anyone would make a sandwich of just cucumbers, but the ones they have at Justen’s are pretty good. There weren’t any left when I was done.
I was afraid that the tea would make me sleepy, especially after all the exercise I got in the pool, and I had to drive us home after that. Luckily it woke me up for a change. By the time we’d finished tea, gotten our things together and said our good-byes, it was nearly 6, and it’s a 2 hour drive back to Pasadena.
I think Joyce’s brain was fried from so much bridge, and I was waterlogged again (as Mom used to put it), so we listened to Andrea Bocelli and Brad Paisley instead of talking on the way home. We did eventually get to talking, and we both said we’d had a good time. Turns out it wasn’t too much bridge for Joyce, and it certainly wasn’t too much time in the water for me. Even the English stuff like all the tea was kinda fun once you got used to it.
“Justen indicated that he’d ask us again,” Joyce said. “He said I was just the right level of player for him to play with. And I’m sure Luke wants you to come back. Justen was really glad the two of you hit it off the way you did.
“You know you have a huge sunburn, right?”
No wonder my face felt hot. Next time we stopped I took a look at myself in the visor mirror…Joyce was right.
“Shit. I reckon I was so excited about getting in the pool again that I forgot about your waterproof sunblock.”
“Good thing I have a sunburn cream at home. Not like I got any sun this weekend.”
Joyce says she hates being in the sun anyway. So I’m not sure why she bought the sunburn cream, except that she has a cream for everything in her bathroom.
Good thing she had the cream, too. I had a feeling Sabrina wouldn’t be too happy about having a sunburnt model.