a coronavirus moment
Lighthouse beach is famed for a couple of reasons, not the least is the surf by the north wall when conditions are right and the occasional tasty left at the other end – not to mention the appetite of the sharks that have claimed a few lives in the last couple of years, including Tadashi Nakahara, an always friendly face at the Ramada and a pure demon amongst the waves.
Lately though, with things being the way they are with this virus, a man finds himself walking this stretch of beach up and back most mornings, leaving the waves to the kids. Getting out of their way is a lesson hard learnt by blokes my age. Eyes gone, circulation buggered, back ratshit, timing rooted .. you name it, we’ve got it. But the beach is a kind servant, and no matter what the tide is the sand is forgiving on old legs.
I introduced myself to another codger today, we’ve been passing each other by for about a fortnight with just a social-distance nod but a bloke can’t be doing that forever so today I stopped when we came abreast and I asked him what his name was.
‘Howyezgoin mate, I’m Peter.’
‘Strange times, you reckon Geoff?’
‘Fucken oath, mate. Some Chinese bug is it?’
At this point Geoff struck me as a bloke who doesn’t wake up in the morning and power on the iPad to read the SMH, New York Times and Al Jazeera.
So I had to wake him up to it. The bloke’s my vintage and he needs to know.
‘I was watching TV the other week and saw this cage of bats in a Chinese meat market, all of them hanging upside down off the top tier and being bats they were shitting all over themselves, looked like they’d been stuck in there for a week.’
This is what you have to do when time is short and the bug is loose: spread the knowledge.
‘Then some local bloke comes into the shop, buys a couple, takes them home and cooks them for dinner.’
Geoff nearly keeled over, the poor bastard, this was not something he expected to hear halfway along Lighthouse Beach on a beautiful Autumn morning with a soft south-westerly blowing the tops off half a dozen peaks littering the the outside banks.
But he managed a half-smile, and before turning to go, said, ‘not the sort of thing I’d put on my diet, Pete.’