July 04, 2003

tanning by the numbers

Sun and water, water and sun. I don't know what it is--I'm addicted this summer. Can't drink enough into my pours--not enough. I sleep it, dream it, float it, drink it, eat it, sleep it, pee it. Maybe it has something to do with starting to understand I have a body attached to my head. I don't know. I think I've tried to avoid this thing that walks my brain around for quite some time. Let it go to pot. Ignored it. Who needs a body to think and strategize and write?

Then it catches up with you. You say, shit--I used to feel a lot better when I knew this thing that my head sits on. Have I ever known it? Maybe once, a long time ago, a different body than I have now. An old friend. I want her back.

In the sun, you know your flesh. In the water, you feel it, swirling, sinking, diving, floating. Your head is the last thing you think about, you can leave your brain under the umbrella, or roll it up in a beach towel. All you need in the sun and the water is skin.

My skin is turning brown and browner. Jenna says, "Mama, you're catching up to me, but I'm getting tanner, so you'll never catch up to me; or maybe I'll turn peach and you'll turn brown. The boy at my school, Jordan, he calls it 'white.' Isn't that silly? He calls peach white."

Skin, pours, veins, flesh, sink in to cool water, submit to scalding rays.

Find yourself there.