The Beach Diaries #1
As I’ve mentioned many times, I pretty much live on the beach during the summer. Like an OCD mental case, I sometimes take notes about the things I see or think when I’m there. This year, I’m going to post them on here, and here is the first instalment.
* It’s only April. Barely a week in. Only April, and the sun is a’blazing. For beach junkies like me, it’s the equivalent of the local dealer dropping a test phial into my hands with a “Snort that shit good, boy, but think on, cos it’s probably gonna piss down for the next eight weeks.” The mindset that this is a limited advance screening of Summer might just keep the inevitable gloom of the next couple of grey months at pasty-arm’s length.
* I’ve probably put on a little weight over the winter. I make a mental note not to catch my reflection in any phone booths or shop windows, lest I spend the day surrounded by passing bikini-ed hotties and mired in self-loathing about how disgusting I must look with no coat to cover my awful, winter body. Just the regular self-loathing for me, thanks! I make another mental note to be less disgusting by the time June rolls around. Also, a physical note on a scrap of paper that reads “Push ups?”
* The viewfinder telescopes on the pier are now labelled ‘TALKING TELESCOPES.’ The easiest way to make a telescope talk is probably just to instil it with sentience. I picture myself dropping £1.50 into the slot.
“Why are you looking at the waves?” it says, “Are you some kind of poof?” Of its own volition, it swivels towards a women sunbathing by the breakwater.
“Look at the jugs on that milf-o!” I tell it to stop, but it doesn’t; zooming right in on her arse, and talking so loudly that people who pass are giving me the stink-eye, as I futilely try to wrestle it back towards the ocean. Soon, the lens is filled with the increasingly looming figure of a husband who blacks my eye with a fist.
I keep the £1.50 in my pocket and keep walking.
* I pass a girl who looks like Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Rec. Her body language seems to say “Yes, I look like Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Rec – and what of it? Also, fuck you.”
* There’s a new attraction at the mouth of the river. The ticket office bears the words ‘ACTION BOAT – for the ride of your life!’ which sounds like the title and tagline for a Knight Rider spin-off that was cancelled after four episodes.
* On Littlehampton’s Long Bench, a girl holds a phone to her ear. The sun brings out all the beautiful women, like spiders scurrying from beneath an old brick. Where do they go in the winter? Perhaps some giant warehouse. She opens her mouth and speaks into the phone with the voice of Don Henderson.
* Sometimes I think I am the only man in the world over 25 with any hair at all.
* A sarong-wrapped women attempts to keep her elegance while battling with a two-feet-wide sunhat that bucks and thrashes in the coastal breeze like a suicidal horse in a cruel Russian circus. She fails.
* Imagined conversation:
“Hello. I am a small child.”
Me: “And what does your job entail?”
“Running around in circles, shrieking.”