Friday, August 07, 2009

Beach vignette

Dear Readers,

To continue the Tuscan seaside theme...

At the beach, I often see things that make me want to flee in horror, or at least retch into the courtyard of the kids' sand castle. This, last summer at San Vincenzo:

An older couple lounge under a beach umbrella. He--with an enormous, bulbous belly which acts as a coffee-table for the sport section and his plastic cup of espresso from the kiosk--is wearing a microscopic leopard-print Speedo. Great tufts of black and gray hair top his shoulders and festoon his back, so he looks like he's wearing a medieval hair shirt. He's got a solid gold watch, bracelet, and chain. Her, TOPLESS. Nasty old-lady breasts that look like deflated avocados. Leopard bikini bottom, folds of slack flesh oozing over the top, and draped in gold, too, like the Madonna of Pompeii. A garishly pink lipsticked mouth that snaps open and shut with the rythym of her chewing-gum. She's reading a trashy gossip magazine. They wear designer dark glasses, gilt-edged, rhinestone-studded. Both smoke boredly and doggedly, and their skin is so tired, leathery and brown they look like old luggage that's been around the baggage carousel way too many times. They don't speak to each other in sentences, but now and then emit a serious of grunts that has clearly become their private language. They make one great effort at justifying themselves, heaving their bulk from the loungers and plodding along the water-line for 10 minutes--flesh jiggling, gold glinting, and ass-cracks in painful evidence.




  1. I think I've seen this couple too...

  2. Anonymous2:18 AM

    Just discovered your blog and love it! You totally nail the expat experience in Italy, hilariously and eloquently summing up the not-so-romantic side of this paradoxical, beautiful country.

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for your kind compliments. I want to applaud you for your use of the word "paradoxical" in describing Italy, because for me, that one word truly says it all. Of course, since there's no such thing as a one-word blog, I hope to further explore the Italian Paradox in mine.


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