Labor Day weekend, the last hoo-rah of summer. I really, really wanted to squeeze in one more beach day, and not over the three day weekend, because the sand is impossibly crowded on these days. Greedy, right? I have enjoyed quite a few beach days this summer, all of them lovely, was at the NJ beach for an afternoon earlier in the week and of course, an entire week of vacationing on the beach down south. But, one more on “my” beach in Brooklyn sounded irresistible, especially because Man Child is here. He hasn’t been able to enjoy many beach days over the last few years, and I’m enjoying spending some days with him before he flies off overseas.
Of course I noticed the clouds as Art Child, Man Child and I walked to the subway, but there was no hint of rain, nothing that seemed threatening, we had actually gotten out of the apartment by 10am (we’d get good spots near the water!) and when you’re lying on the sand a few clouds can offer a bit of respite from the sun. And of course it was windy when we got off the train, but the weather is always a bit different when you’re actually on the beach. Besides, I kind of like those days, where it’s just me and the other diehards.
Oh.My.God. It was a fucking sandstorm on the beaches of south Brooklyn. First, we teamed up and wrestled the wind to get our towels down. We laid them close together, so we could pool bags and flip-flops to keep them anchored. Man Child’s went first, and by the time we secured all four corners, the towel was half covered in sand. He didn’t even try to lie down, went into the water instead. Art Child and I threw ourselves down on our respective towels as soon as we got them down, in an attempt to keep them from flying away, and trying to block the sand from our eyes. I grew up on that beach, and I can honestly say I have never experienced this amount of sand pelting everything and everyone outside of a November pre-rainstorm.
At first it was kind of funny. Go to the beach, she said, it’ll be fun, she said. Man Child lasted about three minutes in the water, it was bizarrely cold for August. Give it a few minutes, surely it will blow over. Art Child was huddled on her towel, shirt completely wrapped around her head, while Man Child and I laughed, chewed sand, spit sand, and waited. Inside of 30 minutes, there wasn’t a centimeter on any of us that hadn’t been exfoliated, including my throat and eyeballs. If you’ve never experienced it, crunchy contact lenses aren’t a rejuvenating sensation. Art Child was now shivering, so we decided it just didn’t make sense to stay, made a futile attempt to shake the sand off our stuff, and packed up. Ten minutes waiting for the train, another hour and twenty minutes home.
We walk into our building, laugh with the security guard and super that it’s a good thing they didn’t come with us, go upstairs, and…can’t get inside. For the first time in my entire life, I had locked myself out of my apartment. If you’ve ever lived alone, you’re cautious about that kind of thing. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 18? 19?, lived alone for years, and in those years, often worked a swing shift. You cannot ring the super or landlady’s bell at 2am and ask for them to let you in. I guess those habits get ingrained, so in all these years, I’ve never locked myself out. I also gave up on making sure anyone else had a copy of my keys. Apparently when we switched apartments last year, we didn’t give the super the new keys either. We live in a large, post-war but not new building. This means there’s no jimmying the lock with a credit card, bobby pin, or other MacGyveresque maneuver to break in. No external fire escapes on these institutional-style buildings to be climbed. Sure we’ve got a terrace, but it’s 16 floors up, the terraces don’t begin until the fourth floor, and shockingly enough, I am not Spiderman. Hell, even if there was a way to climb up, it’s rare that I can get the windows open from the inside. From the outside? Hah!
Husband had gone to work. In New Jersey. Friday, of Labor day weekend. No way he could run back home to let us in, and ludicrous to think of taking the bus to NJ and back in sand-filled bathing suits so we could pick up the keys. It would have taken 6-7 hours roundtrip in holiday traffic. He was going to be home in another 8 hours anyway. So we went to Mother-In-Law’s. Thankfully she was home and a good sport about the whole thing, though I suspect she was done with us by about the 6th hour. Husband was a mere hour and a half late getting back into the city, and we were home by midnight.
Speaking of midnight, the moon put on quite a show over this past week, and I was able to get a few good shots. If anyone knows why it was so red/orange, I’d love to know, but in any case it was beautiful.