The Beach Diaries 2012 – #30
* On the other side of the wonky shelter, where I found yesterday’s anti-Polish graffiti, there’s a new message, penned in different handwriting.
fuck off back home you Polish alkys
* The wind is vicious again. The sea seems to be moving sideways, and every few minutes, a different tourist hobble-sprints along the seafront in flip-flops or sandals, chasing a hat.
* A dog lays asleep at his owner’s feet. The wind ripples his ears against his head in a terribly pleasing sound. “Fut-fut-fut-fut-fut….”
* As the last week of August stalks ever-closer, thoughts inevitably turn to the end of summer, where the beach becomes a sub-zero wasteland. Every year, I wonder how I’ll survive when all this is over. What would I have done if I’d been a city boy? Where would I have found my respite? Maybe I’d have made a fort in the corner of the flat; blankets and cardboard boxes where I’d hide from the tomb of my actual life.
* A passing blonde jogger bounces so wildly that my psyche is transported back in time, leaving me a drooling, archaic Sid James character, going “Cor!” from the sidelines, and utterly powerless to stop myself. Truly, Andrea Dworkin died for nothing.
* I see a couple of different woman with that 1950’s Americana housewife chic. It’s such an oddly specific look. I wonder why a contrived, exaggerated take on that style has endured above, say, 1980’s magicians, or wartime-era door-to-door salesmen. It tends to be particularly popular among — let’s be honest — the larger lady. Is there something about horn-rim glasses and polka dots that lend a person to feel more comfortable with their size?
* A teenage boy with Down’s Syndrome bends double in hysterics at a squatting dog defecating on the prom.
* A woman carries a baby inside her t-shirt. With just its head poking out from her cleavage, it takes a huge amount of self control on my part to not bellow “Start the reactor. Free Mars!” at his bemused, third-martian-tit of a face.
* Four boisterous boys fish from the end of the pier. The madness of the wind sends their casts flying back behind them, like a yob trying to piss into a hurricane, and they struggle to untie a pink fishing line that’s stretched itself width-ways across the pier, rail to rail, just waiting to decapitate the next kid to barrel down on a scooter.
“Sorry, mate!” yells a boy, as a wild cast sends a length of wire ballooning into the air, and literally wrapping itself around my neck. The whole Final Destination vibe of the situation makes me uneasy, so I untangle myself and find somewhere else to sit.
* Among the packs of families crab-fishing along the riverbank, a guy of about nineteen or twenty argues into a phone while pacing. His shirtless upper body is covered in white power tattoos. 88, Combat 18; a large swastika inked above his heart.
* A group of mentally challenged teenage day-trippers play near the coastguard tower. The wild, rambunctious behaviour puts some of the older passers by on edge. They screech, jump, and run full-speed without warning — children’s play, but in tall, dangerous bodies. One of them has an aversion to the word ‘oil’, with which he’s occasionally taunted. (“Sanjay? Oil!” “Stop saying oil! You’ve said oil 83 times today!”). Another gives thumbs up to everyone he sees. All but two take off down the beach, leaving a teenage boy and girl, who watch until the rest are out of sight.
“Friends again?” asks the boy, extending his hand.
“Friends again.” She slaps a handshake into his palm, and all is well.
“And let’s never talk about the kiss.”
They run off down the prom together to join the others.
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