Saint George beach, that day, was windy to say the least but the beaming rays of my good friend Raisin Bran Sunny kept me toasty with those radioactive waves streaming powerfully from his golden smile. I felt foolish in my swim wear, I always do, I think it was the distant laughter floating from the beach and the bitching of the gulls, murders and flocks of em, that unnerved me. Imagine a gang of otters mysteriously sauntering into a bar, sitting beside you on a stool, and ordering a drink on your tab. That dumbfounded feeling that something isn't quite placed right. We were in our windbreaker shorts and button up shirts, loosely secured halfway up, with our knobby knees exposed and about as visible as the face of God, stationary within the comfort of our shaded car.
My palms began to sweat profusely. I always get this way before an experience. Doubt sets in, worry over possible outcomes with nearly improbably results, sudden or gradual sickness, bad reaction, et cedera, et cedera. Dan, Bug-eyed sunglasses encompassing a third of his face, turned as if suspended in the honey light that blazed earthward and intruded into the car. His smile, made creepier by the fact that his eyes were hidden behind those insectoid sunglasses, lustfully peered at me. Matt, following suite, did the same presenting two clear pads, minty fresh he assured me. The whole scene stopped for a moment, and once again the sudden epiphany that struck me left me dumbfounded and unresponsive. This lasted until some robotic instinct took hold, the need for belgonging that curses our species, and I soared skyhigh in thoughtless panic.
We tumbled noisily from the car, Dan first, than Matt who popped the chair up for me but neglected to swing the seatbelt back, I tripped and fell on my face but cheerfully rose. We must have looked rather silly to the casual beach goer, Dan with his plethora of guesome tattoos, all exposed and enhanced by the pale backdrop on which they were designed. Matt, glasses slightly askew but looking rather determined. His air was only fouled by the brightly colored sandals, a size too small, that flopped and clopped cheerfully as he strode. Me, I resembled a tourist or a clumsy pack mule in a Hawaiian print button down. I wobbled unsteadily, my legs feeling unnaturally twiggish, bearing the groups immense amount of unnecessary baggage. Squirt guns, beachballs, beer, jug of water, spare clothes, towels, umbrellas, and orange juice, why I offered to carry it all is beyond me.
Noon came and with it an open bottle of OJ. We sat there, idlely dabbling with the surrounding sand and flapping our juicy gums over a number of mundane topics. The rolls that are fashioned by the wind in the sand began to cast long shadows though the sun stayed high. To walk was to grow as alice did only wonderland wasn't nearly so wonderful. Amazing, yes, but wonderous I shouldn't think so. The dunes, as they were, made one feel proudly significant. A giant taking massive strides through the impassable Sahara with ease. A giant, I was, and a giant I am.
My speech became oddly cocky. I referred to my fellows as exactly that. Fellows soon evolved into Gentlemen. I spoke in a brash manner and, like my fellows, became slightly anxious to explore these morphing surroundings of ours. We arose and brushed the bits of desert from our silly swimming trunks and proceeded forth into the great unknown. I can't say how far we walked, nor could I tell for how long, all I know is we shot the hell out of any inquisitive gull that got in our path. That is, until we found one headless further up, then we silently marched, sorrow searing our tropical auras with grey.
We came upon a floating bit of plastic and this promptly caused much curious investigation over the origins of and possible whole that component had been detached from. Dan suddenly spotted three beach chairs, perfect amount, in a triangular formation. We had by than reached a more isolated part of the beach and felt, with good reason, a beer was in order.
We laughed and drank. We spotted dolphins majestically spiraling upward from a freakishly shallow depth and laughed at the murderous swarm of insatiable gulls hovering over a nearby fishing ship. We plotted swimming out there, knives between our yellowed teeth, and boarding the ship, stealing it and shooting off to Mexico. The wind began to pick up, at that point, and the condition of our presently unguarded belongings began to raise questionable glances towards the parking lot.
The journey backwards, one finds, tends to shrink in length. As if home base, glancing motherly at its wrist watch, begins to worry about your absence. She attempts to find you bringing with her the entire beach as a search party, we met her halfway and embraced her, relieved by the familiarity of her face. Past the decapitated gull, the buoyant plastic, and the abandoned slipper, its partner long gone in search of help for its fallen comrade.
I buried myself up to my chest once we reached our home base. It started as an attempt to dig under the peacefully zoning Matt but, upon him becoming wise to it and repositioning himself, it turned into a full excavation. The sand that lay before my chest went through a variety of changes: Vietnam Vet stumps for legs and grossly exaggerated breasts. It was then, with the setting sun, we decided to call the beach trip quits. Much resignation followed. We packed up, gave the friendly beach a wave and piled into the car jsut as the park officer pulled up to close the area down. We thought the mint had taken its course, but we were grossly mistaken.
First scene: Passage to Hell on the back roads of Wakulla.