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Friday, July 27, 2012

Enlightenment on the Beach

One thing I know to be true: a day at the beach is never boring. It is also the best way for me to clear my mind. A cool dip in the lake followed by lying in the sun with a good book--a perfect way to find mindfulness.


An afternoon spent at one of my home town beaches did not disappoint.

As soon as I arrived at the beach, I noticed that is was quiet for a warm summer afternoon. Perfect. I had no trouble claiming beach front property. I spread out my Barcelona beach towel and then headed right into the lake for a quick swim. Refreshing--a little chillier than the Gulf of Mexico but perfect for swimming. After a quick dip, I decided to read as I dried off. I pulled a paperback from my beach bag: Buddhism After Patriarchy--A Feminist History, Analysis and Reconstruction of Buddhism. The book is a treasure. I was immersed in it a month ago and then I inadvertently left it on the plane to Texas. I was so sad as it was the book I had planned to read all holiday. However, as soon as I returned home from my trip, I reordered it from Amazon. A new copy just arrived yesterday in the mail :)

-Back to the beach story:
 I was delving into my book when suddenly the entertainment arrived--a family consisting of a slightly inebriated mother and her 3 teenage children. The foursome set up camp beside me. Every second word out of each member's mouth was "Fuck":

 "Get in the F***ing water!"
"I hate the F***ing seaweed."
"What the F*** are you doing?"
 "I'm F***ing swimming."
"F*** come over here."
"F*** I'm coming."
"Where's my F***ing cell phone?"
 "Come on Mom, F**ing get in!"
 "Just wait a F***ing minute!"

Eventually, the mother did get the fuck into the lake. And then the mother started to fucking panic. She was in deep water, struggling to stay afloat beside her laughing teenage daughter. The mother yelled, "Help me!" The daughter laughed, but I could tell that the mother was seriously in trouble. The mother quit saying, "fuck." Her only words were a desperate, "Help me!"The daughter finally yelled to her teenage brother, "Get the F*** in here and help her. She wants you to F***ing save her."

Yes, (thankfully) in went the teenage boy (it was either him or me), "What the F*** are you doing mom? Just f***ing swim." But the mother couldn't fucking swim. Couldn't he see that was the real issue?  He finally waded in and dragged his drowning mother to shore. So there she sat in the shallows, waving both middle fingers high in the air and shouting "F***you!" to her laughing children.

The drama wrapped up almost as quickly as it started and my entertainment crew decided it was time to go. As they were packing up to leave,  a new neighbor arrived: a man, a single, quiet man. First his shirt came off, and then his shorts. Suddenly, I questioned the sex. What was he/she... really? The tiny bathing suit was fitted (tight). OK, decided he was definitely a man. The man was wearing a teeny-weeny black women's bikini (yes a 2 piece). I'd like to be able to tell you that he rocked that teeny-weeny bikini, but he was a rather hairy beast. He was a fine neighbor though, a quiet neighbor indeed.

I returned to my book and then back into the water for a brief swim, and then back to the book. That is when the strangest thing happened, as I was reading my treasured book, my eyes followed a short-legged dog and its female owner along the beach. They waded into the shallows in front of me, strolling along the water's edge together. Under the brim of my hat, I saw the short doggy-legs come closer and closer towards my beach towel, followed by the tanned and tattooed legs of its owner. The tattooed legs bent down beside my towel and a red haired woman whispered into my face, "Is that a man or a woman on the beach beside you?"
I replied calmly, "A man."
Red Haired Woman: "Why is he wearing a woman's bikini?"    
Me: "I don't know. I guess he likes it."
Woman: "That's unusual!"
Me: "Yes, not something you see often."
And then the woman with the short-legged dog stood up and walked away.

And so, back to my book, another swim and more reading. Then I was hungry. I packed up my camp, ready to head home. As I passed the bikini guy he said something to me. I couldn't hear him so I said my usual, "Sorry?"
"A nice day at the beach was it?"he said.
"Yes it was," I said. And oddly, from that very brief exchange of words, I felt that there was something about him, something interesting, something true.

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2 Comments:

Blogger theresa_hart said...

I think you should set up camp it sounds so interesting!

July 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger M.M. said...

Maybe tomorrow I'll attempt to catch Act II. Today I ended up writing far longer than I thought I would--but it turned out well. Ch I of Queen is ready to send out.

July 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM  

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