Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And as I was sailin', the wild wind was wailin'

I cannot identify the allure of the sea to me; although my dad took SCUBA diving lessons in college, my mother hates the beach, and I can count on one hand the number of times we went as kids. We would always go at twilight, when the beach was reserved for us and for the lovers walking. My favorite part was the ice cream.

Certainly it's not that I love swimming. I'm a mediocre swimmer at best, and I get more than my daily amounts of iodine, sodium chloride, and a flocking (or swimming) plethora of sea creatures from just wading in.

It's not the beach that I love. Usually I go into sensory overload mode from all of the people, memory scarred by the tattoos and the potbellies and the scars and stretch marks. Children shrieking, haphazard throwing of beach balls and frisbees and beware the maniac pushing his Bob the Builder construction vehicle around...

And yet. The lighthouses and the lonely sails just visible through the humid haze. The rock formations like Ancient Ones who've cast themselves up from Lovecraftian depths to sunbathe for an aeon. The architecture: some buildings inspiring, others revolting; some obviously not up to code, others believing "the code is more like a set of guidelines." There's even something to the vile old buildings of Hampton, which all could very well be transplanted from a town like Innsmouth or Dunwich.

O! Land-locked exile to Moscow, and then to Illinois.

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