Actually, Speedo plural. I own seven of them, one of which I wore today. Pauline, our personal support worker, and I took Jody to the Port Stanley beach – a couple of miles of white sand looking out on Erie Ocean. So named because I can’t see Pennsylvania (or is it Ohio?) on the far side.
Some ingenious man or woman invented the beach wheelchair, a comfy contraption with huge balloon tires that make rolling across sand a snap. The Port lifeguard service has one of the vehicles available for handicapped folks, and there’s no charge. Yay for humanity! Jody was so excited about the trip and absolutely thrilled when she got to dangle her feet in the water.
What to wear … what to wear. One of the seven brief splashes of colour, of course -the orange and black one, as a matter of fact. But I knew what would be coming … lots of stares, lots of guffaws among knots of more stylish humans, and general discomfort. I’ve never understood – women in string bikinis revealing plenty of cheek, and men with trunks that almost reach the knee. Doesn’t seem fair.
With the beach umbrella and chairs set up, and Jody all set for the water, it was time to take off my t-shirt and shorts. Gulp. An aching fear coursed through me. Why should I be so afraid of a hundred eyes turning my way? Well, it doesn’t matter why, I just was. And so what? A healthy dose of fear, that’s all. Good for the soul. So off came the outers. And somehow the gods of proper attire did not strike me dead.
Revealed in all my glory, I watched the fear roam around inside. It was really hot today, so I suppose I was sweating already. I listened to my breath and it took maybe five minutes for it to settle down. Then Pauline and I brought Jody to the lapping waves. With the wheels soon underwater, I was behind Jody widening my stance and gripping the handlebars tight to prevent her from tipping. “Okay, Bruce. Now your total backside, complete with whatever muscle definition you can muster, is on display for the towel and umbrella set.” Happily, no one tapped me on the shoulder, to hand out a ticket for unlawful use of a Speedo.
Several times during our shore sojourn, when Jody was back on the sand, I walked around, once to fetch a kid’s hat that a mom had dropped, and once to put garbage in the big can, 50 feet way, just to see if I would have a heart attack or something. Nope to the cardiac emergency. Eventually, we returned to the car, with all my body parts intact. What a roller coaster.
By the way, is your mind as strange as mine?