Monday, July 20, 2009

not for the faint of heart

Ah the beach. 'What would it be like to live here and be able to come to the beach every day if I wanted to?' This was my self-imposed question yesterday while lying on the sand hoping to dim the brightness of my skin.

While the spud threw pebbles at me I spent some time covertly eying up the beach populace and trying to work out who were the locals and who the visitors. Some were easy. Anyone pale was probably visiting. Anybody very dark was probably a local. The rest were harder to fathom.

One however stood out above and beyond the others. If she hadn't been sitting within 5 feet of me I may have missed her. Might not have been a bad move.

She looked as though in another life she is possibly someone's Grandmother and she mightn't even have stood out if she hadn't been naked and chain-smoking.

It was the scent of tobacco smoke that drew my eyes and then, to my shame, I could barely tear them away as she turned around to fetch her bikini out of her bag and her right nipple dipped itself... those with weaker stomachs may need to turn away... dipped itself, I tell you, into her belly button. Right in. It snagged for a moment and then she turned back and it bobbed out. It was at this point in what must only have been a two or three-second glance, that I realised her skin was the texture of an old handbag - leathery and cracked and rippled with sun damage.

I feigned interest in my offspring while thinking queasily 'This would be me if I spent every day on the beach for the next fifteen years'. And smoked.

A few moments later she walked past my toes, bikini-clad and without a cigarette, entirely un-remarkable amongst the other women on the beach. She stood for a long time facing the sea, her back and legs baking themselves even browner. She seemed happy.

I was just happy that her bikini had underwiring.

The spud was just happy to be by the sea.


san said...

Ew. That was a lovely comment though, that she seemed happy. Even so, ew!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

I refer to the sad tale told here....

even sadder is the fact that they don't have a hope in hell of actually getting there what being size challenged and all.

With or without a tan.

So meh!

Word verification
hande as in You gotta hande 't to the old broad........she comfy in her skin!!!

Helen said...

Ah yes, the beach, the great equalizer where no matter what you look like, you can get away with wearing a tiny bit of spadex and nothing else. Gotta love it!

I've seen some scary things myself on our local beach, but in America, you don't usually see any nudity. Still, I've seen folks I thought were pieces of rotting drift wood lying on the sand. Scary!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Oh dear Lord, you described it so vividly I almost threw up my breakfast.

So terribly frightening. Put on your sunblock, dear! And quick!

cactus petunia said...

Dreams are great, but sometimes an image like that will snap you back to reality pretty quickly!

Buck said...

Damn... why didn't I look away when you gave me the out!?! hahaha, great stuff.

Diana, Marco and Dario said...

soo true. i am a canadian now living in italy raising a 2yr old myself and i know whatcha sayin. i dont often go, but when i do i usually get comments like "you're so white, you look like a ghost" (thinking im envious) my usual responses are now "the sun wrecks your skin, makes you look old" which can silence them for at least a couple seconds. great blog.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Shriiieeeeek. Where are my weights? Must lift weights franticly to avoid muscle tissue getting any weaker. Nipple in bellybutton? Bleurgh.

Rob Clack said...

Ha ha! Fantastic! Near my father and step-mother's flat in southern Spain I used to occasionally meet a delightful Irish girl who would sunbathe topless and extensively. And she smoked. And I'm sad to say, she looked just the way you describe, though I never saw her dip a nipple in her navel.

D'you think it's a coincidence that the way we preserve animal skins is by *tanning* them?