We all know it’s time for the beach.
What’s more fun about the careless abandon of throwing yourself, wet from the salty ocean, onto the sand, rolling around under the bright yellow sun. I end up resembling one of those pirate cast ways, sand in my beard, exhibiting odd beach behavior. It’s no wonder the ancients believed the sun was their God.
I once had a wonderful customer named Don, a jazz pianist and worldly soul, who would quietly order lunch at the end of the bar I tended in Boston. I asked him, in his wisdom, what he thought about the whole God thing. After all, he was 70 something and had been around the globe. He played juke joints in Barcelona and drank with Ernest Hemingway and Ava Gardner. I figured the guy knew his shit.
I said: “Don. Talk to me. What about the whole God thing?”
He shook his head, grinning: “I don’t know about God. I do know the sun comes every day. In fact, it has never not come up. Ever. That’s the most consistent thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Not God. That’s for sure. Not people. Not love. But the sun always comes up. I’d have to say I’m a sun worshipper.”
I’m pretty sure I converted to sun worshipping right then and there. And last Monday was no different. After the long and dark winter we’ve had out here, that Vitamin D was desperately needed in my skin. And as your dutiful bartender have explained many times before the whole system of getting to the beach here in New York City. We call it the Brighton Beach Adventures. It’s the nicest $2.25 subway ride you could ask for. Fast, too.
The operation goes like this. We met up 10 am. I play the Father Figure Beach Nazi, wrangling the cats that are my friends together. Artists surely have a hard time focusing, especially at that hour. We get to the sand by noon. It’s bad luck if you don’t set your bare feet on the sand by 12. I’ve seen it happen.
Then you break out the cooler with a collection of well-converted ‘roadies’. The cops don’t care what happens, just don’t be stupid. The Russians are out in droves. The locals are sunbathing. Kids are playing. The water is relatively clean.
And appropriately, around 3pm, we head on down to Coney Island to drink at famed dive bar Ruby’s right there on the boardwalk. You’re back home by 5pm (and probably napping).
Beaches are fantastic. Not only for the pure hedonism of that sort of life style, but it’s a helluva way to get to know people. I think something is essential troubled about people who don’t like the beach. I half grew up in Surf City U.S.A. and hated the beach (I was originally a pasty faced Rhode Island kid with a bad accent), and something surely was wrong with me. Maybe there still is.
There’s several personalities that appear in the sun, drenched in sand, and any or all of these can be seen on Planet Beach.
Okay. Everyone, to some degree, is a beach perv. We are American’s, after all, which means we are repressed as all hell, so that amount of skin just on display can drive people wild. But there are limits. On a scale of one to ten, you want to remain around a 3. The ‘10’ types are the scary fat men with dark shades walking slowly down the sand. The ‘3’ types are casual observers of beauty.
Somebody always is the beach perv. Next time it might be you.
Wait a minute. Who says it was ever cool to wear speedo’s for a fella? I have yet to meet a woman that has openly expressed there’s some kind of turn on in seeing men’s packages proudly (or sadly) displayed. Gay men, sure. Straight ladies, I don’t know. If you know any of these women who do get turned on by it or might be one yourself, please email me. We can talk. You can be the one that stands out. Inside, you probably are a gay man. It happens.
Yoga Lady/Exercise Guy.
We’ll put these two in the category: “It’s cool whatever you do for self-improvement, but please do it somewhere else” mentality. Hey you, the guy with the speedos and doing exercises right by women and young children, please, need attention much. And come on sister, you know you got a nice air-conditioned studio somewhere in Park Slope where you can align your chakras. I’ve got nothing against Eastern Thought. If anything, I’m a Taoist. A Sun worshipping Taoist. Least to say exactly how many of Personality Number One’s you’ll attract. These two are exhibitions to a fault.
Talk about life in a glass house. A ‘lotion beaming on the skin’ house.
Okay. I admit I fall in this this category (and a 3 on the beach perv scale: see above).
That’s what I think of when I’m on the beach. Relaxation. Boating. Eating cold melon in the sun. I have a friend who was so elaborate about his ‘catering’ he managed to smuggle out chilled papya with parmesean, blue cheese and water melon, rolled cold cuts. Perfectly cold temperature. Nothing is better at 3pm having this gentleman lunching on the sand. If this type of behavior is a crime, then take me to jail. I'm going to die by the beach.
Nobody want to bother anybody. Roadies are essential, those Arizona 99 cent ones do nicely. Throw away your trash. Be cool. That’s all. If you act a fool, you deserve what you get.
Street logic, son.
There’s a million of these characters, compounded that where I go is the next beach over from Coney Island, out there. To be continued...
THEY'RE OUT THERE, KIDS. BE CAREFUL.
ME AS AN OLD MAN
COVERT TO SUN WORSHIP!