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#57 Got My Toes in the Water

It’s a beautiful thing to be at the seashore on my birthday. I’ve spent so many birthdays here. And this year is so strange and quiet. A couple of weeks ago I was mourning the loss of the big planned birthday blowout. But now I’m happy that it’s been a small and special celebration over the last few days.

My sisters, Lynda and Patti, came down and we spent the day at the beach. It was hot and the flies were fierce (Lynda said, “That’s because it’s a LAND BREEZE.” and she showed us how the deep green lifeguard flag was flapping in the wrong direction. Wrong direction unless you like green-head flies, in which case the direction is perfect.)

We abandoned our chairs to stand shin-deep in the ocean and talked talked talked. My mother did the same thing - stood in the water for hours, watching the people go by. Occasionally, she’d scoop up a few handfuls of water and splash her legs, her arms, her chest. Then she’d pat her face with her wet hands and say to me, “get some of this salt water on your face!” She was sure it would clear up my acne, or my sadness.

It’s my ritual now too. I anoint my skin with the cool, slightly sandy water and imagine it will work its magic on me. It will take the sting out of the itchy and unexplained eczema on my arm, preempt the pimple on my chin, soothe my sleepless mind.

My shark bracelet already fits. I bought it appropriately too large and submerged it in the water, dunking it over and over so that it would dry tighter against my wrist. It’s still bright white, but it will turn grey if I’m not careful. I won’t be careful, probably.

Delilah hid from me today. I think she knows I want to anoint her too, in the bathtub, to rid her for a moment of the old lady pee smell. I wanted her to smell nice for my Zoom calls, you never know when they will upgrade to smellcasting technology. She’d rather smell like pee than like coconut, but we must all make sacrifices.

There’s more to share about my beautiful birthday. But it’s late, and maybe I can sleep tonight.


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