I washed my hair with salt shampoo and realised, when I dried it, the thin brown strands might have gained a little volume, but they weren’t beach kissed, not like the bottle promised. And I laughed because, why would they be? The beach is for beach kissed hair, the kind with the ever so subtle waves to match the flow of the evening tide, when the sandy families and PDA couples have long gone home and you are alone amongst the last remaining dog walkers. The beach has more time to kiss you that way. It is the kind that always seems to look better on the models, those that run in slow-motion with a tan that manages to stay smooth even around their ankles. It is the kind that you spit out when it sneaks its way into your mouth, the kind that refuses to follow the pattern of the wind.
It stands out.
I spent so long trying to come up with a metaphor, a way for the December beach walk to represent the months of the past year. It resisted with a bitter smirk. Because sometimes there isn’t a metaphor.
There’s no witty way to say 2015 was an A+ on a test I didn’t study for. I didn’t know how, at the time. And there’s no funny way to admit that I still don’t, and I don’t think I ever will. There’s no clever spin to wishing 2016 could excel. Hoping for it to be a year of surprises, of nights that morph into mornings and sunsets that refuse to give up their grip on the twilight sky. Praying it could be a year of things not turning out the way they’re planned, not following the blue inked bullet point list plastered to the fridge with a magnet. Because life can’t be planned. And the expectations that we continue to make, year after year, get lost in the cloud of unpredictability that lingers over all seven billion of us. And maybe what someone expected to happen to them happened to you, and your hopes are being played out in an Italian restaurant somewhere in the Eastern hemisphere, buried within the spaghetti strands. And that person will never know.
The idea for this blog post was born in an afternoon shower, the water causing shivers – goose bumps licked my skin because someone else in the house had thought it a good time to jump into the tub.
Maybe I’d have never made it to the beach that day if it wasn’t for the salt shampoo, the broken promise, the expectation unmet.