Down by The Bay

By Louise

When I was 15 my parents took me on a trip to Florida. I was regrettably excited about going to the beach.

Cursed with a body of perpetual childhood, I stuffed my doughy, A-cupped frame into my one-piece bathing suit, channeling the kind of grace one may attribute to heroines like Abigail Breslin circa Little Miss Sunshine.

With my frizzy red hair and acne kissed skin, I packed my beach bag with an iPod Nano, some oversized “Audrey Hepburn” shades, a book and some tanning oil. I prayed that the good lord would finally bestow a glowing tan onto me.

Playing it real cool, I pumped some Gang of Four (inspired by a recent viewing of Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette), put on my shades and fell asleep reading on the sunny Florida shore.

I awoke to another world. A shiny, muscle-clad man strutted out of the water like some kind of divine King Neptune. He lifted his sun- glasses from his eyes, looked my way, uttering the word, “wow”.

I felt a rush as I flashed him a braces smile. I soon noted another dreamy beach god eyeing me up; an old woman lying near me on the beach was even looking my way. I could have sworn the salty ocean air was twirling my hair around like some kind of Herbal Essences commercial as I basked in the ogling eyes on that Floridian beach.

If only I had known that I was not suddenly “sizzling hot” in the Kim’s-ass kind of way, rather I was “sizzling hot” in the horrifying-sun- burn-blisters-all-over-my body, going-to-need-to-see-a-doctor- kind of way.

Fuck the beach.