Not-So Secret Admirer

(It is a gray, rainy November day here in upstate New York. It is raining gray. To the beach we go …)

The Atlantic Ocean. Those tiny dots in the photo above are people with lives, voices, loved ones, losses. Sunburns.

We are standing in front of the “Beach Hut” at Smith Point County Park on the South Shore of Long Island. It is 2014, one of the more recent years in history. For much of my adult life, I have sat here internally convinced that I do not like “the beach.” I do not remember when I convinced myself of this. I do not remember an unpleasant beach incident that convinced me of this piece of self-knowledge.
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Forever Snug

My current crush and I are grabbing some sun today at the same local pond I wrote about last week in “Forever Snug“:

Yesterday was one of those days in which the lifeguards outnumbered the swimmers. We were at a local park that features a small lake and beach; busy late August life kept the crowds away even on a sunny Saturday afternoon, so we were one couple out of maybe ten groups. Two families, each with three water-loving toddlers, splashed about, and none of the children were yet old enough to test their limits against the flimsy, algae-covered nylon rope demarcating the “deep end” on three sides. The lifeguards chatted with the families, flirted with each other, bought each other ice cream, and burned off the calories breaking each others’ speed records chasing after the ice cream truck.
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On the Beach

This was a year without spring in upstate New York.

Technically, this is incorrect, as spring-like things transpired: trees bloomed and pollen burst from them like toys from an overstuffed piñata, and now summer is here: insects are everywhere—which would be adorable if they were kittens, but they are not, they are buzzing insects—and the deer and the bears are hanging out wherever their fancy takes them, because there is food everywhere and invitations that were not sent out by humans were ignored because grass in fields and berries on bushes is invitation enough. But winter snows and cold dreariness extended past their usual expiration date, and today is only the second day above 70°F since summer arrived last week. It is raining as I type. I am wearing a sweater. This feels like a hostage note … send heat.

Jen and I may go to the ocean this weekend, hence this re-written piece from months ago:
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