Why I Don’t Like the Beach
(Fresno, CA, USA)
We went to the beach one day last summer to get some sun and play Frisbee.
After driving for an hour, we all got out of the car and unloaded the trunk. We went to the little shack with the smelly changing rooms and put our bathing suits on, then wheeled our little cooler down the wooden walk until it ended just on the other side of some grassy dunes. My dad carried the cooler the rest of the way, and soon we had towels spread out and things unpacked. After putting on some sunscreen, we were ready for a game of Frisbee.
We had only played for a few minutes, however, before the heat of the sun pounding down on us became unbearable. For the first time, we realized that there weren’t very many other people at the beach, and most of them were in the water. The Merritts, our neighbors, had planned to come with us but had not yet arrived, so instead of waiting, my mom called them and told them how to find us. Then we all made straight for the water.
The water was wonderfully refreshing after the intense heat. I waded out until I was up to my waist in water and paused, preparing to plunge through an oncoming wave. I jumped through at just the right moment and swam a little further. My brother swam up to me and splashed water into my face. I splashed him back.
“Don’t you want to go out a little further, where you can really swim?” he asked.
I didn’t, really, but I followed him out to water that was a little deeper. Where we finally stopped, I was up to my chin in water if I put my feet to the bottom. The waves rolled gently over the water at this depth, and so I swam around vigorously for a bit, trying to shake off the lethargy the car ride and the hot sun had brought on.
After we had been in the water for 20 minutes or so, I heard my brother say, “There they are!”
I squinted at the shore and saw Alyssa waving at me. I started swimming back toward the shore to meet her as she started wading into the water. When I the water was about chest-high, I stopped and waited, the undercurrent sucking away the sand at my feet. Something that was pulled by the current bumped gently into my leg and came to a rest against it. I wiggled my toes in the wet sand, enjoying the squishiness.
Suddenly, something pinched my foot hard. I jerked my foot up and reached down to touch it with my hand. I felt something hard and realized it was a small crab. I plucked it off of my foot and I was just putting my foot down when a massive wall of water bowled me off my feet. I tumbled, underwater, toward the shore, confused and unable to control which way I was going. The force of it ground me into the sand of the shore, which had thousands of tiny bits of broken shells throughout it. I felt these bits digging into my skin as I rolled through the sand.
When the wave finally dumped me unceremoniously into the shallowest water, where all the small children were playing. When I stood up, I realized that my swim trunks were missing and I had little scrapes and abrasions all over me. For just a moment, I almost went back out into the water, but I still hadn’t completely caught my breath, so I ran for the place where we had spread out our towels and rolled myself up in one. People were laughing, especially the little children.
I had never really enjoyed the beach that much in the first place, but after that, I think I am done with beaches altogether. I will stick to swimming pools or activities that keep me much drier.