Nude Underwater Photography at Sauna Cezar
When Darek finally pulled into Sauna Cezar after the concert, Babuka was half-unconscious. She was babbling something about wanting to stay in the car. She had to be dragged out. Darek carried her into the trailer. When he came out a moment later it was clear Babuka was not going to be joining us for the after-party. We headed to the sauna without her.
The sauna had been turned off. It was going to take a while for it to get hot. In the mild warmth, Darek and I napped. We joked that we might fall asleep in the sauna and wake up in the morning looking like mummies. Gosia joined us. She too napped.
Darek’s strength didn’t last for long. He declined to accompany me and Gosia to the pool. He wished us a good time.
In the pool, the lights in the ceiling were turned on. I had the sudden urge to take a picture. I realized this was a good opportunity to try the water-proof bag I had bought. I was drunk enough not to care about the risks. I told Gosia I had bought it as a guilty pleasure. She invited me to go get it.
Gosia seemed bored as she watched me fiddle with the Velcro. For some dumb reason I thought I had to take the lens off the camera before I could fit it into the bag. It was causing problems. Gosia told me to do what I want. She was getting some red wine.
When the camera was ready Gosia followed me into the pool. Unfortunately I didn’t bother to remove the neck strap from the camera. Having packed it into the bag, I realized it was obstructing my entire view of the LCD screen. I had no idea if the camera was even on.
Gosia watched with a blank expression as I struggled to keep the camera underwater. I explained there was too much air in the bag. She asked if she could try to hold it. I came close to her and let her touch the bag but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to her. She insisted I let go. I did. For a moment I watched in agony as irrational fears of the bag flooding with water filled my head. I couldn’t stand anything bad happening to the camera in somebody else’s hands. I took it back. I finally found the shutter button. It sounded like the camera was working. I pressed the lens of the bag as close as I could to the camera. Gosia treaded water.
When Gosia and I left the pool it seemed like the bag had done its job. The camera was dry. We retired to the Jacuzzi. Gosia began telling me something strange. She said she had imagined that the camera was some kind of underwater typewriter that I had invented. I realized both of us had probably had too much to drink. There was also the matter of the Dutch cigarette we had shared.
At one point Gosia started asking strange questions. She wanted to know why I was taking the pictures of her nude underwater. I was worried she thought I was up to no good. I took the camera out of the bag and started showing her what it had managed to capture. Much to my embarrassment the camera had worked too well. There was body shot after body shot. I kept repeating my regret that the neck strap had obstructed my view of the LCD screen. I insisted that I had no idea what kind of pictures I had been taking.
Gosia asked me at one point what I had been doing “down there.” Apparently when I had been holding the camera underwater it seemed to her like I had been doing something with my other hand. Paranoia gripped me. I imagined Peter suddenly showing up wanting to know what the hell I was doing with Gosia in the middle of the night with a camera in a waterproof bag. I explained desperately that I had been trying to make sure the bag’s lens wasn’t obstructing the lens on the camera. The lens on the bag was connected to a long accordion-like piece of plastic that hung down due to its weight. I had to constantly make sure it was being held in place. I lifted up the bag to show her. All of a sudden we both realized the bag looked like a giant flaccid penis. We laughed hysterically. The paranoia passed.
Gosia and I retired to the solarium. Our philosophical conversation was soon interrupted by her eldest daughter. She still wasn’t asleep. Leaning out of the serving window, she complained that the cat was pregnant. I followed Gosia into the kitchen. She was interested in making herself some sandwiches. I tried to listen as her daughter talked about the cat. I was half-unconscious. It was half past three in the morning.
At one point Gosia asked me what I in fact planned to do with the nude underwater pictures. One last flash of paranoia filled me. I was grateful when I realized she was closing up. I meandered over to the stairs and offered a weak good-night. Gosia wondered why I was leaving. She hadn’t made the sandwiches yet. I stayed. The sandwiches were good.
It was cold that night. I almost froze to death in the trailer. For some reason I forgot to turn on the heat.