The Boston Common, AKA The Beach

It’s bikini season! Grab your skimpy two-piece and a pair of Ray-Bans, because it’s time to head outside. The gray sky is gone and, despite the temperatures that still drop to forty degrees and that probably necessitate more layers than are worn by those who are freaking-out-excited about this cool global warming thing, summer is bursting in its place. It’s time to tan.

Tanning salons, a cultural staple of the desperation-drowned Midwest, are scarce in downtown Boston. Or if they aren’t, they’re tucked into alleys and basements as if they were fight clubs (but less rational). There’s something deceitful about paying to lie in a bed of lightbulbs to darken your skin color. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s fake.

Bostonians, with their class and genuine character, instead lounge on the matted, balding grass of the Common. It’s their reward for braving the winter with only two vacations to the Caribbean and a few hours of complaining about translucence, cracked knuckles, and dwindling Chapstick supplies. Plus, it’s downright embarassing walking around like a tragically pale Virginia Woolf.

So, they emerge from their Bean-boot hibernation, shedding their clothes to secure an even tan—an indication of good health that may result in skin cancer. But, hey, that sunkissed/crispy/slowly broiling skin will evoke images of you sans clothes in the mind of your future lay.

Published at See Gauge Blog on April 4, 2012.

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