...it's not hard, not far to reach, we can hitch a ride....
10. 2. 2. 10. 895. 695. 95. 495. 95. 676. 30. 70. 72. And back again.
(You can retrace my route if you like, but you'll detour from Baltimore into Pasadena to drop off my kids, just as I did.)
The last time we were at the beach together, he was in Miami, FL, and I was in Ocean City, MD. The roar of the ocean blended with cellphone static. Today, we are in Surf City, NJ, no cellphone between us.
I have now been in four states today.
It was his idea, which surprised me, because he hates the beach. ("I don't hate it. I just get bored." Same thing.) He loves his daughter, though. His daughter wanted to go to the beach.
The sand on Long Beach Island is in no way different from the sand in Ocean City, or Rehobeth, or Chicoteague. I haven't been to many places. One of these days, I'll see another ocean, another grade of sand, but I really like the Atlantic, so am thrilled to be here. Or anywhere, really.
The ocean is warm, for an ocean. It feels good on my hot, excited skin. The sand feels good beneath my feet.
"You're walking like you're wearing stilts."
I look down. My heels dig into damp sand just above the waterline. I watch my friends carefully place their feet flat upon the surface of the sand, and try walking that way. It requires different mechanics, and feels precarious, as though I'm on the verge of twisting an ankle, which I hate. I go back to my stilt-walk spike.
The salt on my skin forms a sticky film. I wriggle out of a sandy bikini beneath my clothes (the reverse of how I got into it, but wetter) and hop into the car. There is sand in the car. There is sand on my feet.
"You didn't even make an attempt to get the sand off your feet, did you?"
It's true. Once I'd put the unflattering Teva sandals on, I was done. I brushed away the lumpy bits that would make walking uncomfortable, secured the straps and was on my way. This crystal caking on the tops of my feet is, um, decorative.
I have sand on my feet, in my hair, on my seat, in my crannies. I am grinning like a madwoman.
Have I mentioned I love the beach?
(Rockaway Beach; The Ramones)