The Beach Diaries #9
* (This paragraph is from two weeks ago) The weather is awful. Truly awful. I’ve dragged myself down here for one of those cathartic walks people take when they have a vague sense they might just not bother coming back, and I end up walking five miles down the coast. It’s so cold, windy and rainy, there’s nobody on the prom but me, until I spot a familiar face. BSR – or should I say, BR – for even he is clothed in this atrocious weather. Big Shirt-Wearing Ron sits on a bench next to a brassy woman. As I pass, they talk of being younger and “going up the Palace on a Friday night.” There’s a strange melancholic quality to seeing BSR chatting politely to a woman his own age, with a thick jacket on, hunched from the rain, his bluster moving aside for plaintive reminiscence of days gone by. I feel like I’ve had a peek behind the curtain.
That, or it’s proof that, come rain or shine, BSR will relentlessly work his magic. By the time I got to the East Beach Café, he probably had her bent over Littlehampton’s Long Bench.
*A roaming gang of four chest-bearing pricks stride the length of the prom, on the lookout for girls. Slim pickings today, even at thirty-plus degrees. Returning from their scouting party, they stand by the Cool Kid Section, right at the end of the beach; last chance saloon for seeking out chicks. As always, there are a few girls on that spot, sunbathing and cackling, and taking a thousand photos for their Facebook wall, so that future generations will know of the momentous occasion some girls did a thing in a place.
“I don’t like that one in the combats” says one of the tools, pointing.
“Looklooklook!” says another, with the excitement of a child seeing their first snowfall, “She’s rubbing her boobs!” He mimes this to the others, rubbing his hands over his chest and gazing out across the sand. But the boob-rubbing girl is a long way away. No boobs for you.
“Why ain’t there no birds?!” says the first one, genuine pain in his voice, and literally stamping his foot hard onto the prom in frustration, knee all the way to the chin and sole of his shoe slapping down on the concrete.
I pencil “Why Ain’t There No Birds?! *stamps foot*” as a possible title for my future autobiography. Welcome to my world, motherfucker.
* An eight-year-old boy explains at great length, to his patiently listening grandmother, how twins and triplets are made. The words ‘egg’ and ‘sperm’ are said many times. The second the biology lesson is over, he drags her up the steps to Sharksville Adventure Golf.
* Father and son with identical comb-over fringes. A toddler with Hitler hair.
* I pass Hot Lifeguard, and as always, when coming face to face with people I’ve written into The Beach Diaries, I’m gripped by the paranoid feeling that somehow, she knows. But she’s a hot girl, and thus, neither notices nor cares that I exist, and passes without incident.
* Fedora. Badges on fedora. Vote for Pedro t-shirt. Twot.
*An old man with ice cream all over his mouth stops and wipes a big dollop from his trouser leg with a tissue.
“Oh God,” chuckles his wife, catching my eye with an expression that tells me he does this a lot, as she eats a lolly.
* Ten seconds after the messy old man is out of sight, a seagull lightly shits on my arm and leg. The plopstain is in exactly the same place as the old man’s ice cream splodge. I can only assume the Universe operates some kind of trouserial Karma.
* A man, walking along with his wife, makes a truly aghast facial expression, with a hugely overblown shrug of the shoulders and arms, palms at the sky and mouth buckled into a horseshoe of irritation. That, I think, is exactly how I would mime the phrase “Bewildered Frenchman” in a slightly racist game of charades.
He gets closer, and passes me by; still angry and complaining loudly. Every word of it in French.