The Beach Diaries #14
* A beautiful, willowy girl lays on her stomach, facing towards me, and muses over the crossword in the Guardian. Amid the Sun-readers squealing about immigrants and what a great dad Peter Andre is, it’s a small piece of lefty heaven. We briefly share admiring glances with the same cute Toto dog, nervously flittering in and out of the waves. She doesn’t notice or acknowledge me, but those sparse little moments are all that life’s offering, so you take them anyway.
* A hot Russian woman in a bikini that’s way too small for her tries to help a lost boy find his family.
“Do you remember dis dog, when you were buying ice cream?” she says, pointing at a dog. She tries to piece it all together, clue by clue, like a sexy Poirot. “Did your family have a buggy? Was it a very far walk to the ice cream? Does your sister have blonde hair?” She is good police, returning some minutes later minus the kid, who has been successfully reunited. I briefly ponder tapping her on the shoulder and telling her that I’m lost too, and might I stay with her until someone comes to claim me?
* Beautiful Crossword Girl flips the paper closed. It’s The Sun. I realise I literally just assumed it was the Guardian because of how pretty she is. Was. She’s no longer pretty. She’s scum; ugly, stupid scum. (Seriously, she was really thinking about some of those clues. How hard can the Sun’s crossword be? “4 letters. You drink it. It comes out of a cow’s tit. It’s ‘milk’. Just write ‘milk’ in there.”)
In retrospect, she was only looking at the dog because it was black, and she wanted it deported.
* Overheard conversation snippets. Two laddish men.
Man one: “What’s that fuckin’… that bird that we both grabbed hold of?”
Man two: “Oh yeah, what’s her name?”
* Brighten your day with the image of me laying in the sun, with hordes of small, screeching children playing rampant games of ‘tag’ around my fallen form, nuclear rage brewing in my head.
* What am I, a motherfucking ‘Picnic’ sign that thinks it’s human? Give me some goddamn space, you constant stream of fucks.
* A shout comes from over by the river.
“SHUTCHA MOUF, MUMMY IS TALKING!” My heart sinks a little when I see who it is. Not because it isn’t great material, but it’s one of those coincidences that makes this shit seem made up. It’s the monster mother from the close of yesterday’s diary.
She’s with a female friend, two bald, tattooed, shirtless (natch) men, and twelve children. During their short stay near a shelter by the river, two violently loud slanging matches take place, between various combinations of shirtless baldies and monstrous women. Sun-scorched, lobster pink flesh, Arsenal tats, Spurs tats – all the staples; while inbetween rucks, the women puff on fags, and the men knock back cans of lager. During one shout-bout, one of their brood, a wobbly bellied, fat seven-year-old boy in a baseball cap, dances obliviously atop the verge, without a care in the world, a rather brilliant and joy-filled rendition of 1960’s dance The Swim. The spirit of Billy Elliot lives on, pinching his nose and jiving down to the quiet shallows beneath the waves. As they pass me by later, I hear snippets of conversation.
“… HE SAYS ‘GOTTA GO DOWN ICELAND COS JULIE’S GONNA KICK OFF AND GO PSYCHO’…”
* Another circle of screaming children play ‘tag’ around me. Is someone paying them to do this? Someone disgruntled by their portrayal here?
* A Chinese family shake the sand from an enormous High School Musical towel. A group of Rastafarian men, all thick dreads and high, colourful hats, slowly and casually lollop by. One of the men is utterly mesmerised by the sight of Efron and Hudgens rippling in the breeze, twisting his neck to Exorcist-levels before finally turning away.
* Non-existent late 80’s Saturday morning cartoons inspired by people seen on the prom: “The MILF Twins.”
* A skinny, grey-haired 40-something man in Speedos towels himself dry, with dirty patches of dark hair around his nipples and belly button that exactly resemble a shocked smiley face. A father and son, at witnessing this, collapse into fits of badly hidden giggles.
* A dog passes on a lead. It has a mobile phone attached to its harness. So many questions.
* There’s a mild commotion on the pier. The medic chats to the lifeguards, and one of them goes over to admonish somebody. Forever sniffing out material, I mosey on over for a look. The cliché that finds me there is so intense, I almost suffer an out of body experience. A teenage hipster is beneath the pier, on the struts where the river pukes into the open sea. His friend calls down through the gaps in the planks above. What would a hipster be doing underneath the pier? Then I look down over the railing and see it. Oh, right.
He was trying to ride his unicycle under there.