Search
  • Marianela de Armas

Beach Bums



A beautiful morning in Miami can only mean that it is an even more beautiful day in Miami Beach. I decided to cash in on my grandmother's open invitation for a morning swim and lunch.

My grandmother lived on Miami Beach for three decades. And I had the wonderful opportunity to spend endless weekends, holidays and every random and odd occasion of my childhood/adolescence at her condo.

I had an old lady throw me out of the pool for not having a swim cap. "God knows what you have in your hair," she said. I must have been no more than twelve.

But not all of the old ladies were mean. Mrs. Fox, my grandma's neighbor, taught me the dreidel song and cooked foods that I found exotic and unpronounceable.

I arrived at the beach to find my well preserved grandmother pouring on the sunscreen and her husband waist deep in the water with a pink water noodle.

I quickly jumped in and was introduced to the other members of AARP in the water. My grandmother pointed at each lady, said their first name to get their attention and then proudly introduced me as her granddaughter. She whispered their ailments and ages between each wave.

This is what people do when they retire. They come to the beach on an October morning to socialize and let the small fish nibble on their hammer toe.

All was well until it came time to exit. A human chain was formed to help the lady who lacks the cartilage in her toes. She is unable to grip the quicksand on the shoreline.

I watched in awe. Completely impressed with their efficiency. My step-grandfather told me that just a few days prior he too had fallen victim to the shore. It took three women to help him up.

I think I found my new job.


[Look out for the full version of this story in Chickens in the Yard]