If you are a regular reader of this blog or if you know me you are aware of how much I hate the beach. Which is unfortunate, since just about every woman in my life loved the beach. My first wife grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and was a lifeguard and avid swimmer and beach goer. The first girl I ever lived with loved the beach and we spent many a weekend at Riis Park naked and laying in the sun.
There was also a woman I dated briefly many years ago who had a car and knew of a really secluded piece of beach in Far Rockaway where we’d drive to and have sex on the beach in broad daylight. The things we do for love.
So if you know me, you’d be surprised to know that the lovely Danusia and I went to the beach yesterday, she’d actually said “I’m going to the beach Wednesday” over the weekend and I asked her if I could come along.
It was a bit more crowded yesterday.
“You want to go to the beach?” She asked incredulously.
I ended up at Nordstrom’s Rack one day last week, killing time between one errand or another and ended up buying a pair of swim trunks for $20. The ones I already own I bought a few years ago thinking I was still a size that I am not anymore, and those just wouldn’t do.
Another reason to hate the beach nowadays is that I really don’t cut the most dashing figure in swim trunks, and no amount of dieting and working out is going to change that. But the sight of two enormous 300-pound plus women in bikinis the last time we went to the beach last month told me not to worry too much about it. That day I wore shorts and stayed out of the water.
Yesterday, for some reason I was determined to not only wear my new bright orange $20 swim trunks but actually go in the water! I think the last time I did that was a few years ago in the calm waters of Long Island sound in Mattituck. Rockaway beach is a whole different ballgame when it comes to waves.
I should mention that an invitation from my good friend Ezra to use his cottage out there as a pit stop was helpful in making my decision.
It was hot yesterday, and after first going in the morning to 26th street to feed my friend Jenny’s FIVE cats I got back to Williamsburg in time to eat lunch and leave for Beach 88th Street with Danusia. We took the long ride out to Broad Channel where we switched to the shuttle, I felt like I was going out to that house we didn’t buy again, except that was on beach 25th, the opposite end of the peninsula.
I told Danusia that when I was a kid the Rockaways were a 2-fare zone, you had to pay to get off the subway when you got there. When we were kids we just used to jump the turnstile.
The first thing we did after changing at Ezra’s and leaving our valuables there was have some ice cream at a Bolivian beach side food bar. The kids behind the counter were all naturally blond, beautiful white kids who spoke Spanish, as they were all Bolivian, and I couldn’t help but think they were descendants of either Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid or escaped Nazis.
After sitting in the sun and battling the wind for a while (I had Ezra’s beach umbrella) we decided to go for it and waded into the cold water.
Charlie don’t surf and neither do I, but wave hopping is fun.
The thing about ocean water is that after you get soaked you get used to the water temperature and forget about it. That’s when we started “wave hopping” as Danusia likes to call it and had fun.
The surf in the Rockaways is always heavy, the one time I got pulled under when I was a kid was at Rockaway beach, and it made a lasting impression on a poor swimmer.
But years of experience (and a little practice swimming) made me less afraid, and I just let go and enjoyed myself, despite getting knocked down twice yesterday and hit so hard by a wave I thought it had burst my eardrum.
The lovely Danusia on the way home.
It was quite a workout, and when we got home and watched TV after eating diner I realized that my legs hurt, even my toes hurt from trying to grip the receding sand and stay upright.
If you are thinking of going to the beach, I can report that the water’s fine. Not too cold. But watch out for those waves, and the wind. When we got out of the water the blowing sand felt like tiny needles on my skin, I don’t know why we didn’t feel it before we were wet. If any of you know, drop me a line in the comments!
Waiting for the A train home.