Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Summertime Sadness

This is not my picture. It is a scene from Terminator 2.
It's currently much warmer than it is most of the time in Ireland.

I don't like this.

Primarily, because I feel more guilty than usual about spending my days inside. While everyone else is living their life, grateful to be out of the rain for a few weeks, I'm inside wishing the glare on my TV would go away. It also evokes a certain feeling of nostalgia. The one I assume Lana Del Rey was talking about in that song. I think it's because I'm reminded of when I was in school and summer was great because it meant hanging out or playing Final Fantasy all day and forgetting to eat and feeling good about it.

I went for a walk today. I smothered my face with sunblock before I left. I have SPF 30. I never really understood what the SPF number represented until recently. I always assumed that the higher the number, the greater the light intensity you could expose your skin to but it's actually supposed to be used in a mathematical formula to determine how long you have until you need to reapply. You take the number of minutes you can spend in the sun before you get burnt and multiply it by the SPF, and that gives you the number of minutes before you have to apply the product again. I figured that would give me ten minutes. But getting burnt wasn't really my main concern. I was more preoccupied with getting tanned and losing my sex appeal. And marring how goth women might perceive me.

My walking route was predominantly by a river. I had to go to the bank first. I got to incorrectly use the machine that lets you lodge cash into your account. I attracted attention while it made loud noises. Then I made my way to the old unused train tracks which lead to a bridge you can climb down from to the river bank. The river is probably the only pretty thing about my town. The buildings are ugly. The junkies are rarely attractive. And when they are you know it's only going to last until their late twenties, if even. My friends that are photography-douches like to take pictures around the river. When the sun sets. Or when there are swans swimming on it. Seems too easy to me though. If I was that way inclined I'd probably try to make the buildings seem beautiful.

I walk by the river quite a lot. There are few enough people for me not to feel self-conscious when I do. From the bridge with the tracks there's two directions you can go, once you've climbed down. You can venture right and follow the river back to town. Or you can go the other way and move closer to where the boats dock. There's a bird sanctuary in the middle of the river, on your right as you make your way to the boats. You can hear them singing as you try not to step on butterflies. There are a few houses. Just like the boats they succeed in not being incongruous. I don't like walking by them. Their back windows are very close to the river, maybe three metres away, and I feel like I'm disturbing the people inside or that they're watching me. I'm probably not the only one who feels this way though, I'm definitely not the only one who walks by them. There's usually men fishing along the river. I've only ever been fishing once. I was with a friend and his father. My friend's father said I was good at it. I think because I was doing it quietly. I didn't enjoy it though. Just sitting there by the river seems less cruel. Less cruel than mouse traps. And it doesn't require a license. Or a rod.

At what I assume is several kilometres away from town there is a bench. This bench marks the halfway point of my journey, before I turn around and make my way back home. Its position is confusing. I sit there sometimes and ponder why it's there. There's words etched into the cement beneath it. I can't remember what they say, but I'm pretty sure the bench is commemorative. It's not a good place to put something to sit down on. It's an excellent place to put something in memory of someone. The bench is the only one I've ever seen that hasn't had initials crudely scratched into it.

Walking is good. It's bringing me closer to achieving my six-pack resolution. Particularly useful when it's becoming harder to motivate myself to run. More sunlight makes people want to exercise. Which means there are people running in the field where I run. Which means when I run to that field rather than go in, I have to continue past it. I don't want anybody watching me from behind as I run, or to make anybody uncomfortable by being behind them as they do. This is despite the fond memories I have of my attractive female coach who used to run with us when I joined the cross country team in school at the age of 16. Even though I was physically stronger than her and could have easily passed her out, ran the around the track and resumed position behind her or passed her out again, I did not. I stayed behind as she led the way.

Shout out to dog bro who followed me around for a while earlier.


  1. I use SPF 30 too. My problem is opposite yours. I worry about getting pink and losing my albino-esque seductive charm.

    1. There's just no winning with the sun. And we still love it. Sunny weather is 'good' weather. Sunny weather causes drought.