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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Flash Fiction: 699 words
By Olivia Dalessandro

On the Beach With Linda


I wanna slide my finger underneath her bikini strap and pull it back until it snaps. I want everyone to see me do it. I wanna lose forty-five pounds so nobody laughs when she gets out of the Fiat with the fat man.

And I want Linda to talk to me with an accent like the Italian girl in the Fiat commercial whose t’s sound like Negroni’s singing. Actually, I don’t want Linda to speak English to me at all. But if she’s gonna speak English, I want it to be in the polka-dot dress the girl was wearing. I bought it for her.

Linda always wants to get high. My doctor says I shouldn’t get high anymore. Linda always wants to drink boba tea. My doctor says I shouldn’t drink my calories. Linda only wants to have sex in the shower. My doctor salutes me and says—no. His name is Lesley. Lesley’s fat and ugly like me. And he’s got a girl’s name.

God, I wanna lick the sand out of Linda’s ear. I want her to look up from her phone when I kiss her on the neck. She only looks up when I’m supposed to take her picture for ChatSnap or Snapchat or I don’t know. Just the thought of those internet fucks dreaming of her makes me chew my lip.

Linda says I took a shitty photo and made her look ugly. She can be so clueless.

Linda baby, you’re cold. And everybody knows it. That little boy’s swim trunks are wet and he hasn’t even gone for a swim yet.

I’m gonna have to put a towel on her. I don’t want to, but I’ve got to. I wanna fling it up like a sheet and jump underneath so it’s just us, and then I wanna fall asleep with my face on her kitchen-counter stomach.

If she won’t let me throw the fucking towel on her, then I’m gonna take this sunblock and smear my name over every inch of her body.

Linda doesn’t use sunblock. She wants me to use the oil. It smells like my daughter’s perfume. I was gonna say, I love you Linda baby, I love you. But now I can’t.

Look at this bunch of voyeurs. Perverts.

Linda wants me to stop.

I want her to say my name. She never says my name. I’ll stop when she says my name.

She doesn’t.

I stop anyway. Because I love Linda.

And I want her to take off those sunglasses, because I didn’t buy them for her and because her eyes are so green. But Linda wants to read. And she says she can’t do that without the sunglasses—that I didn’t buy for her.

I don’t get how she can focus on reading anyhow, when every five seconds her phone dings. And I don’t know how she can hear when it does because of the ocean, and because of these Latinos playing their Latino music so fucking loud.

My daughter tells me I should stop cussing so much. Linda has nothing to say on the subject.

She’s tapping her toes. I’d like to see her dance. Based on the way she’s tapping, I don’t think she has very good rhythm. But it wouldn’t make a difference to me if her tits bounced in 4/4 when the song was in 6/8.

I’ve just got to take Linda dancing tonight. I was gonna ask her, but now she’s got her headphones in. I thought she liked the Latino music. I guess not.

I don’t really know much about Linda—that’s why I’m gonna ask her to marry me tomorrow. If I’ve got thirty more years, I wanna spend them learning about her.

I’m thinking after she says yes, she’ll have sex with me in the shower and then she’ll want to tell her mother and so I’ll zip her up in the Fiat dress, prop her up on the bed, and wait. I’ll probably call Didi around then. No, I don’t want to ruin Bellinis and oysters at La Gioventú.

I’ll tell my daughter I’m getting married when I’m not on the beach with Linda.

Publisher’s Note: We’re delighted and honored to be the first to publish writing by Olivia Dalessandro, and we look forward to presenting more of her work in future issues. (A big thank-you to her professor Bill Mesce for sending us her story above!)

Olivia Dalessandro
Issue 1, January 2020

is a student at Kean University in New Jersey, currently studying Creative Writing and Theatre. Her background in acting, painting, and music is an elemental part of her work.

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