standing on a beach with a nun wearing all white.  she tells me that the woman out in the waves has been crying for me the whole time.  i can see myself in a hospital bed, head wrapped, faced bloodied and beaten, drugged and in a coma.  i’m embarrassed that she has seen me in that state.  i’m touched that she cares enough to visit at all, to hold me in her thoughts.  i walk out into the water to her.  I touch her arm.  “at least the waves are big,” i tell her in commiseration. she smiles a sad smile and looks down.  a clear blue-green wave arches over us and crashes.  we stand there waiting for it to recede again.  “come,” I persuade, and julia and i walk back to the shore.  when we get there i pick up two ice cream cones standing in the sand, ignored.  i bring them back to my hotel room and put them in the sink to wipe off all that has melted.  when she knocks at my door i bring her into the mirrored room and show her that i saved them.  well, one.  the other was too far gone and the one remaining only has ice cream left inside the cone.  she cries at my kindness even though it’s not much at all and i gently push the entire small cone into her mouth.  as thanks, she offers me her lover and leaves the room.  he’s handsome.  his race changes to suit my shifting desires.  i jump into his arms and wrap my legs around his waist.  because i am still in the bathroom off the entryway he has to walk backwards to fall on the bed with me on top.  i bore him with foreplay, rising and falling on my own.  when he senses this may go on forever he relaxes some and i wind my strong legs under and over his, locking him in place.  i sit up, reach behind me, and grasp his writhing snake.  with the bony arch of my thumb bent back, i press down, sliding over the ridges of its underbelly, pressing in hard at the base so it cannot grow. i tighten my grip.  i look into his questioning eyes.  i tell the devil with my mind, “this distraction is not enough to satisfy me.”