Friday, August 05, 2005

Hotter than Hell

And not in a good way, like at the East Coast Grill.

If there's any weather I truly loathe, it's this sweltering combination of heat and humidity that has descended over the Greater Boston Metro area. Some people actually look forward to days like this, as they confuse triple-digit temperatures and potentially fatal heat indices with "beach weather" -- a habit I myself only forsook after a couple of dozen summers down the Jersey Shore with my family. My father and brother were always particularly fond of going to the beach when the conditions would be better for a clambake right on the sand. No coals necessary!

It was Mrs. Exile who introduced me to the joys of visiting the beach late in the afternoon, as despite her very Greek ancestry she has the skin pigmentation of your average Icelander and would very likely burst into flames if subjected to the traditional Bruno Beach Regimen. I must say that I prefer seeing the coastline at odd hours, when the angle of the rising or setting sun makes for impressionistic whorls of colors -- serene pastels or deep dark blues, depending on the whim of the clouds and the ocean's mood.

The only drawback to going to the beach during the liminal hours between day and night is that marine biologists tell us that these are the preferred hunting times for sharks and other predators of the sea. You'd think a fact like this would keep me -- a confirmed galeophobic -- out of the water, but you'd be wrong. Instead I seem to draw some sort of weird thrill out of playing Russian roulette with the maneating creatures of the deep, praying to Poseidon that I'll never see a telltale dorsal fin bearing down on me while I catch just one more of those electric blue or coral pink waves breaking in the light of the late afternoon sun.

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