The "Hotel Melanoma" moniker is a metaphor for living with my particular brand of cancer. Except for those lucky few of us deemed "cured", all we cancer survivors are guests of one of the many, many branded hotels in the "Hotel Carcinoma" chain. We can check out any time we like, but we can never leave. Meanwhile, let's be livin' it up; and please support cancer education, prevention, and treatment research.

Tutu Brothers

Monday, January 28, 2013

Close Encounters With The Burned Kind

I spent several lazy days last week at a lovely beach hotel south of the border. After an early morning walk and swim workout that was a fruitless attempt at burning off excess cerveza calories, I mostly just lollygagged under an umbrella ‘working on my pale’. But one day I got restless and decided to go on a snorkeling and sea kayaking adventure-- one that provided a glimpse into a world that I just don’t encounter in my sheltered daily life at home.

After enjoying some snorkeling and a spot of lunch, our little group of aquatic adventurers was paddling back to our point of embarkation when we spotted a very large catamaran barreling beachwards on a direct collision course with our small flotilla of kayaks. We all followed the lead of our guide and started to waive our paddles in the air, hoping the catamaran’s captain would spot us and veer off to our left. Fortunately, this stratagem eventually worked well enough to avoid mayhem. But as this ”booze cruise” catamaran passed by rather too closely for comfort and I worked to position my kayak to hit the trailing high wake at the proper angle to avoid being flipped over, I couldn’t help but notice the party crowd on the catamaran. It consisted entirely of very tanned males who weren’t wearing sun-protective clothing or hats. Or much of anything else for that matter. It dawned on me that, in more ways than one, these gentlemen and I are playing on different teams. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as comedian Jerry Seinfeld would say.) Apparently young women aren’t the only demographic group that is all too often still buying the line that tan is beautiful? Is this is an overlooked at-risk population that’s not even on the radar screen of any of the nonprofits that are waging melanoma awareness campaigns?

Wondering whether it’s time to launch a new diversity sensitivity training program here at the Hotel Melanoma, I’ll sign off with my rendition of Jackson Browne’s “Rock Me On The Water”…

Oh people, look around you
Sun lies are everywhere
You've left it for somebody other than you
To be the one to care
We're lost inside our silos
There's no time to climb out now
The waves are churning and those brothers are burning
I'm going to paddle clear and try to get back to the beach somehow

Sun road is filled with soulless moles
Every woman, child and man
Who have no idea where they will glow
But they'll join you if they tan
Now everyone must have sun spot
That's going to mutate new somehow
Well sun fires are raging hotter and hotter
But the misters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now

Rock me on the water
Mister will you groove my leeward bow
Rock me on the water
I'll get drowned in the sea somehow

Oh people, look among you
It's there our hope must lie
There's a C scourge from sun’s hue
Hiding in some place to tease us ‘til we die
We all must do the best we can
And then hang on to pale Gospel now

When my ride is over, I'm going to stand before the water
But the misters of the sun are going to rock me on the water now

Rock me on the water
Mister will you groove my leeward bow
Rock me on the water, maybe I'll defend her
Maybe I'll defend her now
Rock me on the water
The wind is with me now
So rock me on the water
I'll get drowned in the sea somehow

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you had a good trip (except for nearly being plowed over by a catamaran). I also just got back from my Kauai trip last night. It was fabulous! Yes, the women in the bikinis probably thought I was weird because I wore a long-sleeve swim shirt and capri swim tights, but I had a blast AND I kept my skin protected. Also, I'm not a morning person, but in Hawaii I discovered that 7am walks are just wonderful! But anyway, welcome back home... glad you had a great trip!