went to the beach this weekend. although I really love the forest and mountains there is just something about the beach that makes it destined as the go-to place for rest, relaxation and respite. I setup my chair and umbrella, as I usually do, carefully coordinated so that I was equidistant from my neighbours on what was already an incredibly crowded beach by 11am.
to my right was this elderly couple. the guy, sporting a huge beer belly and and "I'd rather be fishing" hat, was joyfully munching on sunflower seeds, every now and then reaching into a cooler which apparently contained an unlimited supply of bud light. I'm not quite sure how he was able to drink the beer without swallowing the sunflower seeds but he turned it into quite an art form, crunch, crunch, spit, gulp. repeat. he gave me a congenial smiled and tipped his "rather be fishing" hat in my direction acknowledging my wonderment at his skilful enjoyment of multiple pleasures.
his wife was doing that thing where she would fidget and move her chair into what she felt was the perfect position to soak up all of the suns rays. right down from them was a woman who had just a beach towel, a cooler and no umbrella. she looked like a lobster and I wasn't quite sure if she wasn't already dead (the sun beating down upon her back unabatedly).
in front of me was what I like to call the redneck family gathering. I went to the beach with a friend of mine when I was young. they setup exactly like this family. huge ass cooler, a grill, and a huge American flag fastened to their sprawling tent (just in case people would mistake them for Russians (the rednecks of Europe) maybe?). one of the guys had two pistols on his shoulders (sort of like angel wings) pointing down into a huge back tattoo that appeared to represent him as a member of an esteemed local bike gang.
they all sported the same oakleys, turned upside down and on the back of their necks because why would you want to be wearing them on a bright sunny day at the beach?
to my left was a rather uncomfortable looking Indian family, dressed like they were about to hit up a wedding after their foray at the beach. the culture clash was palpable as the biker bro started fixing up all-beef hotdogs on their needlessly massive propane fuelled grill.
I decided to leave my immediate environ and traverse the beach. then I waded into the water. the saltwater promptly soothed my already burnt skin (in spit of umbrella and suntan lotion). I lay there relatively motionless, floating on my back and trying my best not to bump into what seemed to be a never-ending line of people who wanted nothing more than to seek refuge from the sweltering sun.
I lay there, the salt water holding my sun-spent body like a gentle hand. this was the beach that Juliann and I went to on our honeymoon. when we were poor and about to move all the way across the country to start our lives. as I floated, artfully dodging shrieking children with moms trapeizing after them trying to get their precious progeny to pose for the internet clout, I thought about what it felt like when I held juliann's body while she was floating in exactly this manner.
her eyes closed, face red from the sun, hair splaying behind her like the head of Medusa. I remember the weight of her body being beautifully balanced by the buoyancy of the saltwater. how seven she looked. how I looked down upon her. thinking this is my wife. I am starting my life now with my wife. and she would lay there, serenely soaking up the sun in the sky with the surety that I would provide any support the saltwater did not.
I think I might be in love with my audiologist. it's at that point now. dating is catastrophic. she's this petite Scandinavian woman (judging by her hair/eye colour and last name). being someone hard of hearing I have been seeking new hearing aids (which, quick note, might be a turnoff to women, I just thought about that while typing this, oh well). so my new hearing aids came back and she just seemed really happy to see me. she was effusive in her greeting and even commented (in what I assumed to be a flirtatious manner) that I had dressed up just for her (I was wearing my work clothes).
anyways, we just talked for a while and I was able to make her laugh here and there. she would do that thing that women do when a conversation reaches a certain climax with a laugh, letting it back down to earth in this rather sexy sigh, like their whole soul was just expressing itself in contentment.
I actually thought, maybe I should just ask her out right then and there. but then, thankfully, level-headedness pushed out my desperation.
I wish I could share the beach again with someone more than my interesting neighbours. some day. some day.