What I Learned at the Beach

1. My blood is thin and I do now always crave heat. At the beach it means I’ll carry a sweater.

2. Humidity is death.

3. On vacation you need less and get more. Less sleep, less water, less rescuing. The hours fill up on everything, or just nothing.

4. Santa Barbara is really one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. It has a remarkable consistency in design that soothes my OCD. And everywhere you go, there’s the ocean or its smell.

5. That every city, no matter how beautiful, has its jerks and its kind hosts.

6. The names of flowers: Nile lily, impatiens, snapdragon.

7. That I miss reading books and, when cleared of all other distractions, I can read a whole one in one sitting (Two By Two, Denise Duhamel; more on that later).

8. That the best time to end a vacation is when you’re not quite ready to go home. So that part of you stays behind: the part that wants to own the beach, to be a waiter in a cafe and string together two or three other jobs just to let the beach be in your life, to write poems to the beach, to watch its boys, to smell always the faint reminder of salt on the skin.

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