Yesterday, when I was sitting on my bed, and my sister was sitting on hers, not ten feet away, in her tiny studio apartment, she looked at me and said, “Hey let’s have a beach day.” I said okay, but on the inside I was slightly taken aback because in Santa Monica, every day is a beach day.
Near the Santa Monica Pier, the distance of sand is unbelievable. There’s a small half-mile of desert between the ocean and the highway. My sister and I set up camp (two towels and my skateboard) about 1/3 of the way to the water. She likes to lay out. She was editing a script. I put in some headphones to listen to music, but laying out like a steak waiting to broil isn’t my deal.
I gave it a valiant effort. I turned my face towards Malibu and watched the vapor rise in s-waves from the sand. Then I turned the other way and looked at Pacific park over my sisters olive toned shoulders.
“I’m taking a walk.” I told her.
To take a walk on the desert beach without shoes in the summer is unwise. It’s like walking on hot coals. And when you’re halfway between the water and your towel, there’s no turning back. You feel every step burn into the arches of your feet. I took breaks, just sat down in the sand, until I reached the ocean, which resembled a wave pool at an ocean theme park. Children shrieking with joy, ebbing and flowing with the water. Even the cool June tide stung my scorched feet.
It reminded me of something totally different. It reminded me of the New York City winters: the opposite end of the extreme. In New York, when you walk somewhere in the snow your feet go numb in your boots. The cold almost freezes your toes (toe-cicles) and after awhile you accept that you can’t feel your feet. I think that numb feeling is better, because in the Santa Monica sun, no matter how hot your feet get, you can’t escape the burn in every step forward.