A Day at the Beach: Top of the World, Ma, Top of the World
I'm taking just one day off of the Maine travelogue to blog about yesterday's little trip to the beach. The girl gang (the Model, Alice, Film Freak, and myself) were supposed to go to Coney Island last weekend, but the weather did not cooperate. This Sunday, however, we were able to go.

I've lived in NYC for 12 years and only went to Brighton Beach for the first time last year because when you travel alone, going to the beach is a serious drag. You can't leave anyone to guard your spot or your beach bag if you want to go in the water or walk on the beach. And so I just decided rather than go and be frustrated by my solitude in a different environment, I would just stay in the places where I could be more easily and comfortably annoyed.

When I was a child, my parents used to take me to Martha's Vineyard. We would spend our days at the beach. I would search for shells, stones, and sea glass, build sandcastles, play in the water, ponder the occassional jelly fish that woud beach itself. I like the beach, miss it, and so I was happy when Film Freak organized this little outing.

We arrived about 12:30. As we walked towards the water, we could hear the barker for Shoot the Freak calling out, "Five years, five years of shooting freaks and getting away with it." I knew this was my kind of place. We set up our towels on the sand. Film Freak and I played in the water, posed for pictures with a seagull ( Thank you Anton Chekhov, for all the good memories), and briefly lay on the sand until my friends got the brilliant idea to bury me in the sand. Now a normal person would think, "Hey, I'm fully dressed. Not a good idea." Whereas I weighted the amusement the process and the pictures will afford for years to come vs some mild discomfort.

You know what I picked.

So I got completely buried in sand. My friends then proceeded to stick an unlit cigarette in my mouth and hold a regular photo shoot. Pictures of me buried up to my neck in sand with the Wonder Wheel in the background, without it in the background, with them sitting on my back, with bunny ears on my head. I found the weight and the cool sand rather relaxing actually.

While I was buried a family pulled up a blanket. Two young girls, a boy, and their mother. One of the girls was obese. In fact, she looked pregnant she had such a belly on her. The mother was abrasive and insulting, and I, along with gang, tried my best not to pay attention as I had been having fun playing in the surf and posing for pictures.

And I might have succeeded until I heard the mother berating the obese girl, "You're pathetic. This is all your fault. How could be so stupid? what the fuck is wrong with you?"

My father was always smart enough to keep that kind of behavior out of the public eye, but I remember those rants. One afternoon while vacation on Martha's Vineyard my father was yelling at my mother because Bloomingdale's made a mistake and apparently attempted to deliver their new bed on the wrong day. My father believed this was my mother's fault, although Bloomingdale's had already admitted it was a clerical error on the order form. How this was my mother's fault escaped me. It continues to defy my comprehension, and I made the mistake of trying to introduce logic into the argument when my father abruptly informed me that "Normal kids get in trouble and have bad grades. There something wrong with you. You're too fucking well behaved." Talk about hard to please. I got good grades and was well behaved because I thought it was a desirable thing to do only to find out it made me a freak even to my own family.

I slowly emerged from my sand pit, and luckily the girl gang decided it was time for to go on the rides. We hit them all-The Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone, the Polar Express, the Tilt-a-World, and the Thunderbolt. Alice remarked to me that it was like being five again. For me, it was having a day of the childhood that I had been robbed of all those years ago. After the Polar Express, Alice remarked that I looked like I had a night of really wild sex-my shirt all askew, my hair in all directions, but, of course, it was far better than sex. It was exhilirating and freeing. No men, no need for them, no bad come on lines or disappointment, no jealousy or gossip-just all of us, laughing, joking, and eating. Alice and Film Freak winning all of us little rings playing skeeball. The Model and I on the Wonder Wheel (as Alice and Film Freak were skittish) looking out at the beach, the Queens of the Beach. Top of the World, Ma, Top of the World.

Eventually, my legs and back began to ache from walking and standing, and the Model had to go to work. The moment I sat on the train I just wanted to fall asleep. Go home and have some manservant strip off my clothes, throw me in a bath, and then put me to bed. As it was, I managed to stay awake long enough to have a couple of cups of tea with the Model while we rehashed the day's events. I meandered home sure today that I would feel like I was hit by a bus, and even surer that it would all have been worth it.

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