9am and I was ready to hit the surf.
Flip flops hit rocks; discarded like a pair of old sneakers.
Bare feet thrilled at the hard, warm cragginess.
Happy toes seeking crevices found warm salty water left behind when waves ebbed back
In one smooth motion I sank to my bottom, plonking down sunglasses and tearing off offending clothes.
I cast a lazy eye over fellow sun worshippers; they had that same look of contentment, drugged by the sun and the smell of the sea.
"Hi," nodded my neighbour, sharing the rock next door, I nodded back.
He greedily nuzzled at the head of the Heineken, placing the bottle down between his legs. It brushed against the tattoo of a snake coiling up his calf, drops clinging to green ink.
The familiar crinkle of the cigarette pack as he removed it from his ruck sack, grabbed my attention. I placed two fingers to my lips, sucking deeply out of habit. With a flick of his wrist the cigarettes was lit and smoke drifted to me in waves, awakening my senses.
I sniffed deeply.
Secondhand never felt so good.
"Ready?" asked Joe, the sun casting him in a warm glow, like an angel towering over me.
He stood with his hands on his hips; his legs planted wide, and puffed out his chest.
"Let's go, go go!" he chided.
"Winner gets on top!" I screamed, bolting for the edge of the tidal pool.
This spot was not for the timid.
The water was a murky green, the waves giving the lip a pounding, leaving behind seaweed and a bitter saltiness. There was nothing picture-postcard about it.
I dove straight in, eyes closed and the water washed over me.
I came up to find him smirking, "You get the top," he said, looking pleased with himself.
He planted a wet one on me, a soft brush of cold lips, and swam towards the far end, knowing I would follow.
Grabbing onto his legs, he lifted me out.
I clung to the edge, taking a pounding from behind.
"It's fierce today," he said, a nod to the power of the incoming tide.
It felt like a beating, and I aquiesced, slithering into the green again, and headed back.
Salt and sand clung to my body.
Tugging at my costume, I rearranged the black, my cheeks exposed, and loosened stubborn sea grit.
My neighbour in the kaftan and scarf asked how the water was. Pretty caramel feet peeked from beneath her bright floral fabric, henna patterns like lace ran from ankles to toes. She looked like sunshine.
"It's good," I said, "you should go in."
"When you young, you never feel the cold," she said, "now..."
Her voice trailed off, she looked to where her husband was playing with their daughter on the shallow step his feet in grey Crocs, his beige T-shirt skimming water. A look of longing raced across her face, and disappeared as quickly, her mantra falling from her lips once more.
I smiled in agreement, youth a distant memory for both of us.
From mantra to mayhem.
"Heineken Henry" was giving off heavy metal from where he sat guard on the mountain of beach bags.
I scanned the length of his pink body to find the source; he had it well hidden.
"Ah! Found it!" His Iphone was tucked at the back of ball cap, his bald head pink against the black. The new lady with a cute silver bob and black & white check bikini added her bag to the mountain afraid it would be swept away by the approaching tide.
"I'll keep a keen eye," he said, relishing his role.
His girlfriend waved to him from the pool, motioning furiously for him to come in.
"The waters good!" she yelled, blowing him a kiss.
He got up, pointing to the bags, it was like baggage holding him back.
She waved "never mind" and resumed her frolicking with the handsome stranger.
I swam out to them, heard her giggle, heard his charm, felt the connection, temporarily made, the sea working it's charm.
"There's something about the sea and the sun!" he said.
"Yes," she readily agreed, twirling tendrils and batting eyes.
And from the side lines "Humourless Henry" played make believe drums.
9pm and I was ready to hit the sack.
I dove straight in, eyes closed and the cool sheets washed over me.
I came up on one elbow to find him smirking.
"You get the top," he said, looking pleased with himself.
I felt a soft brush of warm lips on my shouder, and I moved closer, ready for my prize.
I grabbed onto his legs with mine and he lifted me up.
I clung to the edge, taking a pounding from behind, salt leaving a trail on my skin.
"It's fierce today," I whispered, a nod to the power of the incoming tide.
This was not for the timid.