Beach day

It’s still early morning and I am not yet ready to get up out of bed. It’s very warm in the room. I lie still, on top of the covers, no need for blankets in the heat of the morning. The lace curtain at the open french door flutters slightly as the air mildly moves through the room and out to the world. The day is very bright outside but the sun is not shining directly into the room yet. The tree outside the window shows a bit of green shadow beyond the lace. Its quiet inside but I hear birds chattering occasionally from the other side of the window. It’s a hot summer day – one so unlike the usual summer days here in Stockholm – because it’s very hot. Suddenly a seagull screams its raucous cry. Another answers it and they begin a loud conversation as they fly above my building. I am immediately transported and as I close my eyes I imagine I am on my way, getting close to my destination, the Jersey shore. Its going to be a beach day at the shore. I can almost smell the scent of the salt water, feel the heat beating down from the blue cloudless sky and the sun sitting alone there. The fire from the white sand under my sandals radiates up my legs. I carry my blanket and my bag filled with suntan lotion and my towel and my book, looking for the perfect place to plant myself – close to the grey damp sand near the edge of the of the water line. I hear the waves pounding the sand, white foam at the edge where the salt water meets the grey hard surface and rolls up the beach just so far until slowly it starts to fall back down to the ocean.

I open my eyes and get up, to start my day here in my island-studded home, surrounded by water, here in Stockholm.


2 Responses to “Beach day”

  • Stig Says:

    I have to pee, it must be morning. My bedroom is dark and quiet and I am way too comfortable to crawl out from my cocoon of flannel sheets, cotton sheets, layers of blankets, and heaps of pillows. My nose is cold. My shoulders are cold. I pull a cushy bathrobe up onto my head. That’s better. Gotta warm up.
    I can almost hear the drone of cicadas, they’re out in force agitated by baking 90+ temps, but their screech does not fully penetrate the double sets of light blocking drapes that keep my sleeping space light-free. The cork covered walls absorb all noise. With the door shut, the air conditioners are silenced as they working hard to keep things at 64 degrees. Only sound is my wind-up Big Ben alarm clock, its hypnotic tick tock tick tock, a soothing mechanical heartbeat.
    There is no more little dog to demand I get up, prepare breakfast, get out into the back yard to exercise. No more little dog to dig me out from under my pillows, and pull off the blankets and sheets. No more little dog to lick my face non stop until I open my eyes. I am always sad. I miss Gweniveire so much. I miss my sweet wonderful companion who was always there and now isn’t.
    But I have to pee pretty bad so it must be time to get up.

    I walk to the kitchen and am enveloped by the wind. The ceiling fans run non-stop at high speed. The rooms are all dark. But the strings of Christmas tree lights that criss cross the living room and dining room are soothing enough. Bright enough. I pull open a drape and the backyard is ablaze with sunshine, Too much light. I let the drape go and walk into the kitchen. A small glass of orange juice. A huge mug of coffee. Two pieces of Wasa light rye. A slice of Finlandia swiss. Two prunes. Turn on the TV. A pretty biology/anthropology author on CUNY 25 is bemoaning the new crop of anthropomorphic Disney films.
    ” Seeing these animals move in such unnatural ways makes me cringe” She is especially upset over some film about a boy raised by wolves who runs on all fours. She has charts and diagrams to show how very stupid the concept is. ” Humans are one of the slowest, weakest creatures on earth. Their survival and evolution has been possible only by their powers of logic and reason . Intelligence…”
    Good luck to that. Our president is a moron, and our consumer based economy is superhero obsessed.
    But this is a posting about your beach day memories.
    Ahh the beach.
    I remember the shore.
    Before it was littered by jellyfish, medical waste wash-ups and oily foam. The sands are blistering hot, serious burns are common. Even though the walk to the water is shorter, since erosion has taken away most of the actual beach.
    You will wait in stalled traffic for two to four hours to get there, then you will not find a place to park. The lots are full and the neighborhood streets are guarded by shotgun toting residents, and ticket writing cops who do not want you there.
    Assuming you do get to the entry points, your bags will be searched by anti-terrorist troops, and anything that could be imagined to be useful as a weapon will be confiscated. Obey all the signs. Stay in designated areas. Or else.
    You might actually smell some salty ocean air. But mostly you will smell diesel fumes and coconut suntan lotion. It will be quiet though. You can hear the surf. Nobody will be talking as they will all be concentrating on their devices, fully ear plugged, occasionally taking selfies of themselves “doing” fun things that they are not actually doing. It’s all a set-up. The same people will be driving home later. One of them may well kill you on the road while texting or trying to scroll.
    Well, the pretty anthropologist is done with her rant. I have finished my coffee and Wasabead without spilling or crumbing the keyboard. But I was inspired by your post. So I think I will go down the hill to Oyster Bay and rent a kayak for a couple hours. I have my senior citizen sticker on the car – so I will not have to pay the $125.00 parking fee that is levied on non residents to keep them the fuck away.
    When I get back I will grill the marinated pork bellies I got at the Korean supermarket yesterday, saute some Shanghi choy and heap some hot&spicy pickled radish on top. Then I’ll read SOIL, by Jamie Kornegay. It’s about environmental scientist who moves to a Mississippi mud flat with his wife and kid to get ” off the grid”, but things do not go well.
    Hope things go well for you today. Bye bye.

  • Hilarie Says:

    Hi Stig.
    I remember a hot summer day at Sweet & Co. Just before lunch you came into my office. Want to go to the beach, you ask. I look up, surprised. Come on, you say. I follow you out. As we pass the receptionist, you wave and say, we going out for lunch. We go to your car. Was it a Ford or a Chevy? Whatever. It was a pickup truck car. We drive up to the Upper West Side. To my apartment. I run in and get my bathing suit. Then we head out to Long Island, to your house. And you get your bathing suit. Then we head to the beach. We never go back to the office. At least not that day.
    The next day I ask Sweet’s traffic person, I can’t remember her name, she had black hair and was short, if anyone had been looking for me yesterday. She thinks about it. Says she had looked for me to ask me something but couldn’t find me so she asked someone else. No one missed us.
    And by the way it’s the Jersey shore I miss, not the NY beach. They are two different things. ❤

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