Waves licked my toes, threatening to wash me and my chair out to sea. When they almost had me beat, I dragged my seat a few inches inland, book in tow.
That's when I spotted her, wearing a black, one-piece bathing suit with seams audibly moaning from the pressure of dammed flesh. She bobbed effortlessly in the ocean, up and down, rising and falling with the swells, buoyed by her bulk. Even as the incoming tide grew aggressive, pushing at her waist on the way in and grabbing at her ankles on the way out, her enormous torso bulged steady above the water.
What force of nature, after all, could move a woman whose companions had to remove one wall of her house and fork-lift her into the back of a pick-up truck to haul her to the beach?
Sharks disregarded her thighs, not wishing to start something they couldn't finish.
Averting my gaze, I forced my ogling eyes to find my place on the page. Yet, unable to resist, I peered over the binding of my novel to watch, amazed, as she bounced and hopped, gradually pushed a little shallower.
Unexpectedly, a gargantuan breaker hit from behind, knocking her down, and rolling her up the beach like a jiggling jelly fish.
Her two female friends went howling after her. Momentarily, the wild surf, in its mercy, released its bottomed-out victim back to them. But, alas, just as they neared her, the sea heaved her out of reach again.
Dropping my literature, I gawked at the spectacle before me - two people grappling their portly compatriot, who thrashed about in vain, attempting to right herself by gripping loose sand in chubby fingers. White foam lugged her to and fro.
The ocean labored to either cough her out like a ball of phlegm, or swallow her up like gristle on a slab of steak, but it couldn't make headway with either. So it relentlessly rocked her front to back in ankle deep water. And every time she made progress, the sea returned to rub her face in it.
The other two women, one on her knees pushing from behind, one standing and pulling from above, proved no match for the power of Poseidon. Slippery sunscreen paired with a body they couldn't wrap their brains around, made their labor lack effectiveness and grace.
Another misstep and they lay in a heap of unwieldy flesh, undulating with the whims of the waves.
I trembled at the absurdity of it all, until sand around my chair cracked. Tear rivulets streaked down my cheeks. The trio looked up and caught me laughing.
In the throes of my guttural gyrations, sudden guilt struck my hedonistic heart. People of my size have no business finding humor at the expense of the overly weighty. And, political correctness aside, as my mama would point out, I know better. She raised me right.
I tried to stifle my giggles, but my body shook like a bed in a New Jersey hotel room with a fresh quarter in the slot. A cavern opened around my chair. I'm on the short track to Hell, I scolded myself.
To my relief, the women's countenances betrayed their own mirth. Each time they managed to get their faces above water, they themselves found the situation nothing short of hilarious.
Sink, swim, or ride the wave. And when you can't do that, giggle. I thought to myself, That's life.
I only hope I too can laugh, or even better, make other people chuckle, when I'm on my belly wallowing in it.