The Beach Diaries 2012 – #28
* A woman tugs at the crotch of a soaked pair of black yoga pants, as she struggles back up the slope from the communal shower. She calls out to her mother with a foghorn of a voice.
“Mum?! Can you see my twat?!”
* A girl lays across the path, legs on the beach, upper body flat against the path, with her top pulled up above the bra, like a burlesque skateboard jump.
* There’s a certain type of beach-goer that always has me asking “is that me in twenty years?” Those old surfer, aging punk types, still wearing their hair long, and dressed in the same sort of clothes they rocked when they were 25; like the bohemian contestants on Come Dine with Me, who live alone and have their own terrible artwork lining the walls. If I fail, then I guess it is. If the future me isn’t writing or making movies, and living in LA, then that other life has my name written all over it. Solo beach-walks and not owning a tie. That’s probably not so bad. Those types of men always look happy, at least. Could I be happy after my dreams have died? I’ve certainly never been happy while I’ve been chasing them.
* The most exotic-looking family I’ve ever seen float gracefully through the wonky shelter; chestnut hair rippling like silk, olive skin immaculate beneath the sun. Mostly comprised of adult daughters, they seem like an ethereal race of wealthy kings and princesses from the pages of a fantasy novel; far too beautiful for the dull Caucasian ogres of Littlehampton seafront to dare even dream of winning their hand.
* As I’m reading, a mother appears with a small boy, looming over me in shadow. She gives me a rather obvious up-and-down once over, and then, barely two feet away, pulls down his trunks so he can piss.
“At least she didn’t think I looked like a pedo,” I think, as an arc of fresh urine dries on the shelter wall beside me.
* A group of twelve-year-olds pitch up nearby. One lad lays on the warm grass, some yards away, with his eyes closed. One of the other boys sneaks down, showing off to the others, who include a girl in their number, and proceeds to fart on the sleeping boy’s head. He sits on the victim’s skull so he can’t move, eliciting a panicked, impotent cry of disgust as he eats the rippling parp, and returns to the laughing gang while dusting his hands together in satisfaction as if to say “Job well done.”
* An exacerbated man tries to coach his mother into taking a picture of him in front of the sea with his phone.
“Just push the middle button!” he says, hobbling back over the stones three times, and three times down to the beach again to do his pose and smile, which becomes increasingly rictus and gritted as she fannies about. With a final “Christ, what have you done to it?”, he gives up.
* Elderly grandparents in deckchairs keep a little boy entertained by batting a tennis ball across the common and having him chase and return it. I don’t like to assume, but I think it’s likely that the old couple were never able to have the children they’d always craved. She was barren, and his balls didn’t work. But one day, out playing with their beloved dog, they met a friendly witch…
* Mr. 46 Grey is back. After the disappointment of two weeks ago, he’s gone all out, with a full-page ad that covers the entire back of the cubicle door. Consequently, there’s room for a few extra details. He’s got a seven incher, and is strictly interested in trans partners only. And yet again, 46 Grey is requesting a 3pm rendezvous on this very day, but it’s gone four by the time I see it, saving us both the indignity of another stakeout.
* A girls walks towards me, wearing the exact same pair of white-rimmed EyeLevel sunglasses that I have on.
“Hey,” she says, pointing at her shades, “we’re twins!”
“They look better on you,” I reply. She laughs warmly as we pass, and we exchange smiles over our shoulders until crowds cross between us.
Beyond the first line, none of this actually happens.
The complete collection (plus appendices) of 2011’s Beach Diaries are available to buy for the Amazon Kindle for £1.99/$2.99. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon have a free Kindle app for PC/Mac/phones/tablets, available right here.