Roxane Gay Reviews The Beach

I have known beaches, but I have no particular fondness for them. I don’t like sand in my crevices. I don’t like sand at all. I don’t enjoy all that sunshine and heat without the benefit of climate control. I don’t enjoy other people at the beach — sticky children, young people with firm bodies and scanty bathing suits, those of less firm body staring forlornly at this spectacle. People bring pets, and I am not an animal person. No, I do not want to pet your dog.

After 10 minutes, I find myself bored. What are we supposed to do at the beach? I’m black, and so I understand sunbathing as a concept but less so as an activity. How long am I supposed to lie in the sun? When do I turn myself over like roasting meat on a spit? How often do I apply this sunscreen you speak of?

Roxane Gay, in The New York Times.

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Photo: notarim, Flickr