Don’t Ask Me About My Bikini Line
By sandy feet
Journal Entry - May 11, 2004: The web page flashes a red "severe weather" warning for the South Padre Island area. I gaze out of my home office window at the serene blue sky and the gentle breeze rifling the fronds of a nearby palm tree. Nothing I would call severe, here. I click to an article entitled "Cool Temperatures," which notes that Brownsville has not yet hit a high of 90 degrees in 2004, adding that the last time it took this long to hit that mark was back in 1891. I note the current temperature, which is - sure enough - an unseasonal 89 degrees.
It has been a strange spring here on beautiful South Padre Island. Cool, wet weather caused a jungle to erupt where my garden used to be -- a jungle populated by strange and beautiful birds forced down by a late-season cold front. The garden, and its severe need for pruning, calls me. The sand box reminds me it has been too long; the second big sandsculpting contest of the season is coming up and I should be out practicing. Instead I sit inside, chained to my computer, working on another "how to build a better sand castle" manuscript that is supposed to be done on June 15. I feel like I am back in school, looking longingly out the window and counting down the days until the last bell rings and I can go out and play.
Does the student feel the tug of summer freedom any more acutely than the teacher? Does the guard spend less time glumly contemplating the bars than does the prisoner? Will I ever finish writing this book? Contests in New Hampshire, Washington State, Italy and a big group carve in Belgium all beckon me -- beckoned "we," until my sweetheart (Fred Who?) got himself elected to the Board of Alderman, which apparently has coordinated its meetings to coincide with pretty much every sand sculpture event we had hoped to participate in for the next two years.
Journal Entry May 12, 2004: A new mass-mailed junk message has started clogging up my spam bucket: "Summer is almost here - is your bikini line ready?"
I feel rebellious. I don't want to work on this book. I want to be in my sandbox practicing elements of my next contest piece. I am not yet sure what kind of sculpture I am going to make, but at the moment am leaning towards something that could be titled "School's Out!" It would feature a teacher slumped over a paper-strewn desk. Maybe she looks happy… or maybe just exhausted. All around the perimeter, children are zooming off in all directions -- and none of them are looking back.
That's what I'm going to do on June 15, I promise myself. Not look back.
By then, the summer people will have arrived - ready and eager to learn how to build a better sand castle (I hope!) The temperature in Brownsville will have leapfrogged over 90, aiming directly for 100. Friday night fireworks will be popping off over the bay, delighting the tourists -- if not my poor old scaredy-cat dog. I do enjoy traveling to the places the contests bring me, but the best thing about summer is the sand castle lessons I am already booking as far ahead as August. I don't know how I ended up with the best job on the Island, but I am very ready to be finished with this book so I can get back on the beach.
My bikini line may not be ready for summer, but my sandy feets sure are.