Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The ocean = gross

I’ve been thinking more and more about this with all the posts that people are putting up about their summer trips and days at the beach and such.

The ocean is beautiful. Powerful. Mysterious. It is the ocean as an intensely rich metaphor that makes Moby-Dick the greatest novel I have ever read. However, the ocean is also full of yuck.

The ocean is filled with creatures. Mostly slimy, scary ones. Squids. Octopi. Lots of mucous. And they all expel their waste into the ocean. You know that froth that accumulates as the surf hits the beach? Where do you think that comes from?
Swimming in the ocean is like swimming in a big vat of procreative fluids, pee, mucous, and decomposing carcasses. Maybe the salt kills the worst of the germies, but it’s still gross. It’s not like public pools are much better (kids being at least as slimy and full of mucous as most any sea beast I can think of), so I don’t know what the alternative is. It just makes me feel like agent Smith in The Matrix, and how disgusted he is by these oily, sweaty, greasy human creatures he has to associate with.
Of course, this doesn't stop my family from doing things like this:
And this:
Because sometimes the joyful sight of my daughter running shrieking from the approaching surf, or frantically trying to catch little sandcrabs in our hastily-crafted castle far outweighs what scary things might be lurking in the depths. And the shallows. And the foam. And dried and withered on the sand. I just try not to think about it for a little while.
Right now, though, we're far from the ocean. We're in desert country, where there were once seas, but everything's been sanitized by a million years of the beating, bleaching sun and its ultra violet rays. Zion National Park, here we come.


  1. Yes, I deeply miss living by an ocean, grime and all. I have such fond memories of playing in the sand and swallowing salt water and watching the sun set on the sea. She will have such great memories!

    1. When we traveled up the coast from LA to Canada, things got nicer and nicer. Maybe it really IS mostly the greasy slimy people part that gets to me. Coming across beautiful deserted beaches on the Oregon coast is a zen sort of thing.

  2. Is it a coincidence that right after I saw this I read a friend's Facebook update about retching while kayaking in the ocean? Maybe the ocean really is as gross as you think...but oh so gorgeous, too!

  3. Can't decide which sentence is my favorite: "Swimming in the ocean is like swimming in a big vat of procreative fluids" from this post or "I often daydream that I live one thousand miles from any other human being" from your bio.

    1. They're both priceless gems. Thanks for visiting!


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