They play rackets, drink beers, get tanned and flirt. Sometimes they get into the water to wash off the sand, freshen up or sober up.. On tables or under them in deafening music that imposes silence or screams and continuous movement. On the beach of the youth fun never stops.
Older people go to another quieter beach. When they get there they go to straight to the sea. When they soak enough the get out get dressed and go. To them the beach is the necessary distance they have to cross to reach the sea.
We are only three people on the stony beach surrounded by rocks and a small path linking it to the road; myself, her and him. I don’t know their names; we only speak out of necessity when we bump into each other; then we say good morning. She lies down in the middle of the beach. She is wearing a wide fuchsia hat. She always puts half a bottle of oil on her skin so that it shines more than her deep blue swimsuit. The guy on the tight side of the beach is tall, hairy and muscular. He is wearing a black swimsuit almost invisible as it disappears on his darkish hairy body.
First she gets up (a polite concession from the gentlemen?) and gets into the sea. Stands still in the water gazing the horizon. She always wears her hat. She lies down shining on her mat. Then the tall guy gets up, walks leaning forward and plunges into the water. He swims fast for ten minutes and then rests lying on the water letting a shot of water out of his mouth.
I am smiling; I know they have turned their heads and peep on me. It‘s my turn now. I lie on the water and think. Swimming is baptism for other people; when they get out of the water they feel renewed having left an old part of themselves behind…Psychologists talk about going back to the womb. I look directly at the sun the white light blinds me. I can only hear waves plopping. The salt in my mouth has deaden my palate. I have a wet feeling of isolation from the world as if I were in a bottle where I am the message myself.
I am feeling nothing. Complete insensitivity. And this is happiness that you consume in small portions sharing it with others. I am swinning toward the shore my “companions” are waiting impatiently.