The Life Aquatic

August 12, 2005 at 11:32 PM | Good Times, KCMO, Nostalgia, Site/Personal, Work | No Comments

It’s almost as if there’s no limit to how many posts that I can write about skin peeling! Today’s theme: skin peeling from sunburns.

I went to a Royals/White Sox game a couple weeks ago with my new hire group. It was a pretty good time, we got there a little early to start up a grill, drink some beer, and have ourselves a little tailgating session going. It was all sunny n shit that day and the heat was out of control. I could already tell early on that it was going to be an effort to sit through this game. And what a game it was! The score was all tied up and tension was high in the atmosphere… until about the 12th inning, with the same ol’ fucking score. Half of our group left an inning or two before then, but us hardcore motherfuckers decided to sit and watch the game through, because we’ve already stayed this long, we might as well see what happens. Well, we didn’t make it to the end. We decided to leave at that point because who knows how long that thing could’ve lasted. We could’ve been sitting out there all afternoon! I mean, at that point, I really couldn’t care less who would win the game, I just wished somebody would just finish it up and call it good, so I could get the fuck on up out of there. I checked the game later on that day online and I guess the Royals won. Oh well, I’m pretty indifferent towards baseball.

I normally never sunburn. But this game was especially long. And we did stay out there for a good couple of hours. The only other time that I have ever burned in my life is one summer when my brother and I were taking sailing lessons out at some lake. Also did some kayaking, some canoeing… it was all good. That was a crazy summer, a long time ago. Yes, it’s a little known fact, but I used to be quite the sailor! I knew all about the different nautical terminology, all the cool sailing knots, etc.

I don’t remember shit about sailing. I couldn’t tell you which way was which and I can barely tie my own shoe now. I’d probably be the one to get scurvy out on the open sea if it really came to it. It’s sad, really.

Interestingly enough, I can remember all kinds of useless information from that summer. I remember the stench of the lake; I remember the vanilla/banana smelling sunscreen in the summer mornings. I remember that was the summer when Semisonic first came out with the song “Closing Time” because that song was all the rage, even before every bar across the US decided that it would be clever to play that song when they kick everybody out. Seven years later, they’re still doing it. I mean come on, that shit’s so old hat, it’s not even funny anymore. Oh, you’re so clever.

The reflection from the water and magnification of the sun through the water on my body really did a number on me. That summer, I got the most hardcore tanning/burning that I have ever experienced in my life, and hope to God to never experience again. One artifact of my exposure to the sun, was seen in my very distinct “sandal tan” that was like the difference between night and day. That thing lasted well into and even past the following winter. I mean, it was snowing n shit, 20 below, and there I was, with that blasted sandal tan underneath all of my winter gear. It was ridiculous.

I never knew the sun could be so cruel. Showers were especially painful. This was the sort of thing that’ll make you take an ice cold shower. And even then, you’re in one corner of the shower, clutching at your arms to dampen the impact of the water. This was the sort of thing that made it painful to put socks or shoes on. And the peeling! My god, the peeling! I don’t even want to get into it. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

But I was really surprised that I got burnt at that Royals game. Nowhere as bad as that summer, but burnt nonetheless. I spent a week in the Philippines. I’m talking about some motherfucking tropical islands! And all that got me was a lovely dark tan that got me mistaken for a local more times than I would care to recount. What happened? I spend an afternoon at a baseball game and suddenly I find myself wincing in pain two days later in the shower, skin starts to peel a few weeks later. At least I didn’t get the sandal tan this time around.

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