I write this blog entry to you directly from Paradise Prison.
Sure, a week-long vacation to the coast doesn't sound too bad. Sun, surf, shopping, no responsibilities... wonderful.
Sadly, it has been raining or overcast, windy, and apart from a charming main strip of shops in Caloundra, everything else is an entire highway away. Did I also mention that I am exiled here with my loud, drunken relatives who insist on associating with me wherever I go?
So I've been sitting in my bedroom with my laptop, surfing the internet and watching Little Britain. Ridiculous.
I did attempt one visit to the beach. Instantly, I was transported back to the Gold Coast holidays of my childhood.
Sure, it was fun at first. All I concentrated on was dragging my lone fluro boogie board through the foamy waves, to a point where I could zoom back out onto the shore. Repeat until the sunburns start hurting.
But at some point, I realised how lonely I really felt. Holidays aren't much fun when you don't have a sibling to play with, or far too shy to ask a friend to stay with you. They'll see my family! What's going to happen if I run out of things to say? Will they get bored?
I was reminded of a thousand things. I can't surf. I can't bodysurf. My favourite thing to do at the beach is to swim out past the breaks to the gently rising walls of water, jumping over or diving under. Here, I was safe. I wouln't feel the sharp crash of waves on me, or be swept off my feet and be dragged to shore. Blowing air out my nose, and being mortified at the contents that would come out at the same time. No one else seems to understand it. That's why I hate going to the beach with friends, who swim out across the rolling waves and don't seem bothered by it. I am. I'm a weak, slow swimmer. Come on, Ellie, hurry up! Let's catch the wave! No, let's not.
When I'd had enough of swimming, I'd sit on the sand and listen to a Punkorama CD on my bright yellow Discman. Why can't my tummy sit flat when I sit down, like all the other girls? My legs are hairy and my thighs are flabby. Everyone can see everything because pretty much all I'm wearing is Lycra underwear. Mum screeching at me to wear a hat or a shirt. I always had some ugly cap that belonged to Dad or a hideous fluro 'rashie' shirt.
Walking a significant distance away from my parents - not only because they were like oh my god, soo embarassing, but because I was afraid that strangers would see the little Asian girl with two Caucasian adults and assume all sorts of things. No, I'm not an exchange student! Dad keeping close to me in the surf, because I wasn't a strong swimmer. Embarrassment and trying the best I could to sneak away from him, because he wears Speedos. Why can't you wear board shorts like everyone else, Dad?! Making every effort to make sure the rip didn't make me bump into anybody. Falling down dizzy after a child would boogie board en into my skull.
Wishing so hard that the group of kids near me who looked around my age would just say, "Hi", and we'd be fantastic friends, and go on all sorts of adventures together while I was there. Just like in movies and books.
But nothing in the movies or books actually happens. I never made friends on holiday.
And the sand. The bloody sand that you can still find lodged behind your earlobe a week later after you've come home, in your underpants, or even worse - still in your togs the next time you go on holiday. Getting bitten by sea lice and feeling even more self conscious about my body, which was now covered in scabs. Gross.
Feeling lonely. So, so lonely.
I crave the city at the moment. I don't understand why people want to move to remote, isolated places. It is around other people and surrounded by constant stimulation when I feel the most alive.
Brb, going to slit my wrists while building a sandcastle.
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