19 June 2006

Ocean City, NJ

I took my niece, Taylor, down to the beach this morning while my sister pursued coffee grounds from Wawa and my parents enjoyed some peace back at the house. The waves threw their temper tantrums, running from naptime, grabbing at the shore, until Mother Ocean gathered them back into bed. Taylor said the waves were caused by big rollers like pickles. We jumped over each wave, knowing that missing one would be detrimental – or even fatal – somehow. Taylor dipper her bucket into the water, pulling up microscopic fish frantically swimming between their new walls and below them three sandcrabs, one only a baby, pushing through the small bit of sand that had rested on the bottom of the green pail.
I sat back in the low chair, digging my toes into the sand, and people-watched. There were three high school boys practicing moves from “Evolution of the Dance,” which, apparently, is a nationwide phenomenon. Children dig shortcuts to China and crafted castles. People everywhere live the slowed-down life, half-heartedly reading their books as their eyes droop in the lazy hazy days of summer, chatting, laughing, dads constructing fortresses with their kids, mothers pulling out sandwiches and chips and fruit and drinks and yogurts from deceptively small Mary Poppins coolers. A dozen wind-surfers dance on the surface of the water, flipping sometimes ten feet above as they grab the edges of their wakeboard. I hear the bell announcing the arrival of the ice cream truck, laden with Italian water ice, gelato, and ice cream sandwiches. Little boys and girls begin tugging on their parents’ bathing suit covers with wide eyes and upturned suddenly angelic faces. The dads give in with an unwilling “All-right” and return with their own cone. Seagulls squawk above, dipping low as they search for crumbs from the picnics, lost mollusks, and daring fish venturing into the surface of the high tide.

It’s a chilly day, so I abandon my chair to press the towel against the sand. The wind isn’t as fierce when I hug my body flat to the ground. I twist my earpieces into their proper orifice to hear my ipod sing Jimmy Buffet, Jack Johnson, and Lenny Kravitz. And I slow down.


J Hearne said...

Nice. It really captures a feeling.

tranthegirl said...

If I were blind, I would want you to be the one telling me what things looked like and what was happening around me, you know? Are you sure your writing talent's apex is in plays/monologues??!