Beaches

Sometimes, especially during the coldest days of winter, I miss the sugary white sands and emerald waters of the beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast. I especially miss going into a store to pick up a few things and see similar sights to the one above: a hot guy in swim trunks and barefoot doing a little shopping before heading back to the beach. I also used to love sitting on a blanket at the beach and reading a good book. Beach reads were always the best. The only problem with the beach is that you can easily get sunburned if you’re not paying close attention, and there is no way to leave the beach without having sand in uncomfortable places. Not to mention, on a hot summer day, the sand could literally burn your bare feet. Also, I never much cared for swimming in the ocean. It was okay once yo got past the waves, but for the most part, I just loved the scenery. More so than sitting on a blanket on the beach, I preferred sitting on the balcony of a hotel room looking out over the beach and watching all the hot guys. There was always a cute lifeguard or cabana boy to look at.

I remember one winter, my parents and I went down to Navarre Beach, which is about halfway between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach. (All of these places are in Florida, of course.) I don’t remember where my sister was, but she was not with us. We stayed at a nice hotel on the beach, and I think it’s one of the only times we went the whole trip without arguing about something. I think this was just before Christmas and we did some Christmas shopping at the outlet stores in Sandestin. My fondest memory though was going to this little restaurant near our hotel. It was winter, and we mostly had the restaurant to ourselves. The food was good, but what made it so wonderful is that we laughed, talked, and had a great time having dinner that night. There weren’t many times like that. My father could be mean to my mother, and he and I often argued. My mother and I always got along much better than my father and I. However, this night, there was no fussing or fighting. I don’t remember what we were laughing so much about, but it was a very happy memory.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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