The big excitement (in my mind) yesterday – i have a bathing suit that i can wear without feeling terrible about my body. Apparently 15 pounds was just enough to get me into a more reasonable size, or something. Anyhow… just thought i’d mention that here.
At the beach, there were some people next to us – a couple of women, a couple of young children and a man. The man was middle-aged and middle looking – bland, not fat or skinny, not handsome or ugly, just pleasant looking in a slightly dorky way. The women were both blond and one of them was wearing a hippie-looking skirt of that filmy material that’s almost see through in muted shades of green and a sleeveless tank top. The little girl was freckled and cute. The man arrived alone, pulling a cooler on wheels, and i heard him laugh and say, “I dragged these diet pepsi’s all the way out here, someone better drink ’em.”
A few minutes later, I was alone with my grandson, who was playing in the sand, and the women and children in the other party had headed to the water. The man was adjusting the sound on the radio, apologizing for it being loud. I assured him it was fine. “I don’t know why they set up our umbrella this close to you,” he said.
“Well, they didn’t really,” I said, “they were here first and this umbrella’s a rental but there wasn’t anyone here when they came.”
He nodded, “Oh,” then looked at my grandson, “Is that your – how old is your…?”
Cautiously, i said, “My grandson? He’s two.”
He replied, in a burst, “That’s my daughter! The little girl, she’s five, she’s my daughter! I’m fifty-three years old. She’s my only child. Her mother is forty-four, it’s her only child too. And we have this child. She’s the best thing that ever happened – we’re so blessed!”
He paused for air and added, “We’re living,” and his voice dropped a bit, “separately now.” Those words hung on the air for a moment before he finished with enthusiasm, “but that’s ok!” I smiled and nodded and said i bet she (the daughter) would keep him young.
In that moment, I felt like he had told me his life story. I felt like I knew – or could guess – everything that had happened between him and his daughter’s mother. And in that moment, I felt like I could see everything that was going to happen with him and his daughter.
I noticed later that they weren’t sitting together anymore. The man was still in the spot close to us, but the woman in the floaty skirt and the little girl, who had golden blond hair too, had moved their towels and chairs away from him.
I noticed the mother sat, a bit aloof and self-contained, holding her skirt in one hand to let the sun touch her legs. And noticed the little girl keeping one eye on each of her parents, while she laughed and played in the waves.
And watching all that, i felt like my heart was going through a wringer.
i don’t know why i had to write that event, but it weighed on me.
The night before, i had a series of dreams about losing my coat. It was a big ole winter coat, like the one i actually have. In the dream, i kept having to go back and look for it. i found it and lost it 3 times before i work up and could quit dreaming it.
i don’t know what that means either.