Thursday, March 02, 2006

long walks on the beach

I know it's cliche, but I like long walks on the beach. They're calm and relaxed, and remind me of my sanity. The waves make good company when I'm alone. The seagulls pass by me, turning to glance as they fly, but not minding a bit that I'm on their turf. The sand squishes through my toes and massages the bottom of my feet.

Tonight, someone made eye contact and returned a genuine simile to me; most people walk in solitude -- claiming a small strip of the beach for their own as they do.

Tonight as I walked, there were dark clouds on the west horizon behind the mountains. They threatened rain, but I was determined to get my time in with the ocean. As the clouds crept over the mountain peaks, their undersides hung down; the raindrops were falling, but had an iron grip on the sky, holding on for dear life. They pushed forward and the clear sky behind them peeked over the peaks and quelled my fear of downpours.

A glance at Mt. Kiera around sunset time revealed a scene of glorious beauty. The sun shone up from behind the mountain like it were resting in the valley itself. Rays of light painted the black clouds bright orange, and the haze on the mountainside glowed like napalm burning slowly in the night. Jet black, the mountain sat juxtaposed with the aura, a sharply cut shadow on the face of the sky.

I stood and watched it burn for a while like one would watch a marathon winner cross the finish line in slow motion -- for eons. I then turned around and saw the blue of a very large (7cm) bluebottle lying on the beach, its two meters of tentacle encircling it, making a blue sun on a sandy beach. Content with the colors, I turned and began walking back north.

A group of college students frolicked, in clothes, down the beach in the water. Jovial running around and general cavorting were on the agenda. One girl waded alone in the water with a bottle of something scandalous, astray from her friends. She would take a few steps, then sit in the water -- causing her denim skirt to gain mass. Surprised, she'd stand up and turn around, take a swig, then forget what just happened and repeat.

As I approached, one dripping member of the group (the one in some sort of black lacey nightgown that I only assume was not her sole apparel) approached me, grinning, and asked if she looked drunk. I told her she looked wet, and noticed some nasal expellee clinging to her left nostril. Her next question was easy to answer since her mascara streamed down her cheeks and her lipstick was smeared all over the side of her face. Then she asked if I was Australian. I told her where I was from and she told me about South Africa, her homeland. She said she knew self defense and proceeded to kick sand in the face of the sober guy with her. The other two girls (also thoroughly saturated with potent potables) grinned toothily as her "self defense" made her fall on her butt. She quickly got back up and asked if she looked like she was in lingerie, then justified her self defense knowledge. "In South Africa, everybody is either raped or murdered." I smirked, and asked which one she was. "Well, nearly everybody. One every eight minutes. Oh hell, I'm from Australia, but I like pretending!" Then she fell down again.

I had a chat with the sober guy, who was really nice, and found out they live near me. I asked if he wanted me to help drag them back eventually, but he thought he could manage. I surveyed the situation, and although it would be fun to help, they were sure to stumble their way back in safety. I waved goodbye and went to finish my walk up the beach, while denim-skirt girl wandered back into the sea to sit down.

The sun had set behind the mountain, but the clouds transferred the napalm burn to the sea where it lit the eastern sky with a deep orange hazy glow. The waves looked more turquoise than ever and seemed to replace the dark sky. If you turned your head upside down and squinted, it already looked like morning.


Bob said...

Hope you are having a good time in Australia. I love reading your adventures there. It's kind of like living vicariously through you, since I doubt I will be going to Australia any time soon. Take care, man.

Sid Stamm said...

Glad you are enjoying it, Bob. My aim is to let others experience my Oztrip (not to be confused with ozztrip) by proxy.