July 10, 2003

work n sun n wind n taste

Up late last night finishing work on a client web site (among other things). Up early to take Jenna to summer camp. Up and Up, seems to be the way of July.

Jenna was all jazzed about trying the new McGriddle at McDonalds--jazzed enough that we got out of the house before 10. Peppy and happy, she's wanted to taste this thing since it came out. I've been avoiding it, but decided today was as good a day as any, especially since she did so well at her swim lessons yesterday.

It's a wierd little idea, that McGriddle. She liked it. I tasted it and wondered what all that sweet pancake taste was doing mixed in with salty bacon and eggs--it's the kind of mixture I'd rather experience in my stomach than on my tongue. But the logo looks just super on the top of that pancake bread. And from the back seat, I heard, "Mmmmmmmmm!"

Home now with a killer headache from not enough sleep, guzzling coffee, and waiting for the sun to come out so I can go welcome it.

Yesterday for the first time I laid out in the sun topless on our deck. George, did you just fall off your chair? I made sure I was invisible to the peripheral world, I'll have you know. I put towels on the rails of the deck, tucked the lounge chair behind the patio set, laid down face to the sun, and undressed for the sky.

I didn't let myself worry about being "seen." One neighbor back in rehab, the other at work, the backyard neighbors painstakingly blocked from view by the towels, the deck became my own private beach. Instead of thinking about reasons why I shouldn't be nearly naked on my own deck, I thought about the sun and the way it feels to unfamiliar skin.

Healing. The smack of heat against tender, white skin. And the breeze. I didn't think about the breeze...

Sometimes when I was 17 and living at home, I'd swim topless in our pool. Only when no one was home. Only when there was no chance of my parents rolling into the driveway. I would have been woefully shamed or celebrated (no telling which) to an unbearable degree of discomfort had my little escapades been discovered.

What I remember about swimming that way at 17 is the wind, the water, and the intensity of touch so strong that it melds with taste. Skin feelings so strong you can taste them. Like that. Cool boyant water lifting and celebrating my flesh, feeling just like wild cherry popsicles taste. Slurp.

Yesterday, I laid in the sun that way for a half-hour. I was careful not to get too much sun too fast, just enough to soften the line between a deep brown tan and bleach white skin. For a minute or two, I was 17 again, swimming next to naked in our family pool.

I'm not sure I'll make a habit out of my backyard deck tanning, but it was, well, really............. nice.

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