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Picture Triggers: Damp Deckchairs

April 28, 2016

This week I took my box of pictures into class. These were the ones I chose to write about: 

photo (7)

The flat sea gleams dully in the early morning light. Lydia quickly pulls off her outer layers of clothes and starts running toward the water before she can change her mind. The cold sand squeaks between her toes. By the time she reaches the water, her skin is already stippled with goosebumps, the follicles in her freshly-shaved legs contracting painfully. She flings herself forward, and launches into a desperate, gasping breaststroke, trying to outpace her own outraged nervous system.

After a few minutes, the water is bearable, but no better than that. She wades back to shore and stumps back up the beach, shaking her curly hair like a dog, aware that in her baggy, figure-forgiving bathing suit she looks less than glamorous.

More clouds have moved in and a mist risen from the water. Dressed again, Lydia takes a walk to the end of the pier, eyes the damp deckchairs, and walks back again. She can’t say she wasn’t warned.

Everyone back at the office told her she was mad to take her holidays at the beginning of winter. She talked a good game about off-season savings, but really she was just trying to avoid the couples. Recently split from Derek, the last thing she needs is to be surrounded by canoodling honeymooners. At home she’d studied the website and pictured herself scuba-diving, splendidly independent in wetsuit and goggles, intrepidly exploring the ocean floor.

Instead she goes back to her room, orders room-service hot chocolate, laces it heavily with mini-bar whisky and gets into bed to watch midday TV.



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