sun screen

White UV-protective lotion, slathered on at baseball games and daytrips to the beach; swimming pool parties and outdoor activities. The bottle smells like summer. It smells like carefree vacation. It smells like we're going somewhere else today. Like the car is packed with music, cold water, and pretzels and we are going down Parkway South. Did the Coppertone Baby grow up to be the Morton Salt girl? But when I get to the beach, I always find it slightly annoying that I have to put on the sunscreen. Sand is already stuck to my hands and in between my toes. But I bite the bullet and apply, because nothing is worse than a bad sunburn. Radioactive, glowing red. Hot to the touch and gets worse with each passing day; The pain, the itchiness, the skin peeling and drying. I have had bad sunburns, and I have healed from them, but I am never looking to get one again. Missing a spot is the worst, that's why it's always helpful to ask someone to help you apply to your back, neck, and shoulders - places where you can reach well. The sunscreen industry must make an absolute fortune. Even in the winter, folks are still getting away, going to warmer places to escape the cold - They need sunscreen too. I wonder who discovered this chemical solution to help protect our skin against sun and potential cancer. Reapplication is also annoying. Though I love my wet skin drying in the sun. Baked evaporation. I don't like crowds. I like being alone near the water, or in an intimate group. I can't relax otherwise. Heeding caution to expired sunscreen because that can also cause a nasty sunburn. There are creams and sprays and tanning oils. There was brief moment in time, perhaps toward the end of my high school career where I too was obsessed with getting a tan - which is laughable with my Irish skin. My mom, all Sicilian, turns a beautiful golden/olive color. There are other members of my family who have this trait. Not me. Comedically frustrating, but never actually mad about it. 

Author: Roe

29. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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