Soup by Susan Tepper

Mrs. Sensor was appalled by what she saw on Copacabana Beach. She’d spent her life savings on this trip. All around her, lying on towels, strolling toward the surf, playing games where things get tossed, were the naked, or near-naked of both sexes.

How can this be? she thought; wishing she’d stayed put in her tiny hamlet town in upper New England— a place where propriety still had a place! It was bad enough that she couldn’t turn on the television without people practically fornicating in the commercials! One commercial for soup had shown a couple on a bed locked in the throes of passion.

Mrs. Sensor tried making sense out of soup and passion. What could possibly happen in a bowl of soup that might end in fornication? She had eaten thousands of bowls of soup in her adult lifetime, soup from cans and soup homemade.

She pulled her sun-visor out of her beach bag and positioned it on her head. The sun on Copacabana Beach relentless as the bodies. Never once could she recall a bowl of soup having any effect other than temporarily warming her insides.

I am clueless about the world, she thought. Michael was right.

Trying to avert her eyes from the endless parade of tanned oiled bodies in such close proximity to where she sat on her hotel towel, she quickly dismissed Michael from her mind.

He’d been a mean sort of person, a bruiser; what did he know?

3 Comments

Filed under Susan Tepper

3 responses to “Soup by Susan Tepper

  1. I love this. I love the character’s name, and I love that she “tried making sense out of soup and passion”. I love the bit about Michael, and all the possible stories behind it. Great read!

  2. cubehermit, glad you enjoyed this story!

  3. Matt Potter

    I love the idea of soup being thought about on a hot beach: so incongruous. And Michael? It doesn’t matter who he is, she has dismissed him from her life anyway. And we don’t need to know who he is. Amusing and poignant story.

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