Beaver’s Pick
M.J. Walsh

Photo Credit: Doug Butchy

We’re going to the beach, finally. A few days ago we tried, too hot. Yesterday we tried, thunderstorms. Today things have cooled down considerably and we’ll have to wear clothes over our swimsuits but it’s sunny and clear and we’ve got lots of sunscreen and extra towels to cover our freezing bodies when we emerge from the frigid north Atlantic.

So we’re going to the beach, finally! If I can ever find my sunglasses and lip balm. The weight on my head is reassuring; now show yourself, lip balm—my longest-running addiction, and last obstacle. Pockets? No. Beach bag? No. Bathrobe! Wait, let me run upstairs and check the bathrobe pockets! Jackpot! All set, let’s go. We need to get there early to get a primo spot, a circle with a radius of at least ten feet.

Good god, it’s stifling in the car. Perhaps we should keep the windows rolled up and sweat it out all the way to the beach, dump our stuff at the center of our perfect beach circle, and dive straight in to the ocean, like Norwegians, just emerged from a sauna. We’ll blink the salt from our eyes and splash around until our fingers prune or our ankles get numb then wander up to deal with our accoutrements, dripping.

We’ll have to find some hefty rocks to hold down the corners of each blanket. We’ll have to dry off and put on sunblock. We’ll have to try not to fall asleep after our second beer in the sun. Are the bathhouse and lunch bar open this early in the season? It is June after all, and if they can charge for parking, they can at least provide sustenance for the people who are forking it out. They do a decent coffee, for a beach, if memory serves.

First we have to get there. Not many people on the road today. It looks like smooth sailing for us. The roads are cracked and bruised from the fourteen-year-long winter we’ve endured. Some of the side streets are riddled with veins of newly-caulked pavement sealant. The smell of the tar mixes with flowers and pollen and freshly-cut grass, soon to be replaced with the smell of salt and sunscreen, the grit of the sand in our hair and the glare of the seagull, lusting after our potato chips.

We’re going to the beach, finally.

pencilM.J. Walsh is from Boston, MA. She works at a university library by day and writes by night. Email: ivivivivi[at]

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