20 July 2013 Saturday
Woke up in night hungry, had to eat. Morning did some shopping. Sat in garden reading and had lunch. At about 4pm walked down to the sea. It was busy and very windy. The lifeguard told me it had been busy. Did my stretches and then walked along the water line feeling tired and lifeless. Took some considerable time before I got in the rhythm. Three woman watching and with camera. When I stop, I turn to them and say, “I need an oxygen tank.” They look straight through me, a blank uncomprehending refusal to even acknowledge that I have spoken to them. I assume this is fear – they have been watching a wild animal, it has turned on them and they have frozen. Found at some point that I was being followed by a gaggle of pre-teen boys who were jumping about. I gave them a wave and continued. Having a chorus of ten ten year olds probably made for even more of an event than usual. At some point I spoke to them, they asked what the music was, I let some of them listen, one said the music was ‘cool’ (Today, Anastasia ‘Freak’) then one of them said, “He’s so cool.” and then added, “Dancing along the beach you’re way cool.” Or something equally silly and then he looked at me, (I guess 10 maybe 12, slim blonde nice looking and said with both thumbs up…) “I am your biggest fan.”
I thanked him and high fived. A few of the others did the same and then they were gone. Being my ‘biggest fan’ or did he say ‘number one fan’? means that I am not far off having my first stalker. Perhaps next year I will calling the police to have them removed from outside the flat. I felt too tired to really do anything well, I felt clumsy and close to losing my balance from over doing things. Being so tired that when I returned to the Chine I was just standing for ages trying to find some energy. Then I started doing slow turns and a few easy steps and then I gave up and walked to a bench to be greeted by a thumbs up from a young blonde woman in her twenties. She said something, I thanked her and told her that I was very tired having danced for more than an hour. The boy sitting at her side said, “You’ve got nice moves.” I thanked him and he asked, “How old are you?” “Sixty,” which he seemed to have difficulty processing, but the woman replied, “Sixty and you can move like that, good on you.” I assumed that the boy was her son, but no. His parents live apart, he doesn’t know why. He was cut out of his mother’s tummy and the woman has had two such cesarean births of her two daughters (4 and 6) and I would have more but my husband doesn’t want to. Her grandfather lives in Lakeside Rd, recently lost his wife, is depressed and 91.
“Hey, bud…” We are interrupted by a 30 something dad on the next bench. “Bud, are you going to do any more?”
“Sorry, I am really tired.”
“Just a bit, my girl wants to see you do some more.” I find the man’s tone and use of ‘Bud’ annoying, but I assume he doesn’t mean to be rude.
The boy adds, “Yeah, go on I want to see some more.”
“I’m sorry, but give me a moment to catch my breath, I have been dancing for an hour and a half and I am exhausted.”
My public seem to be on the verge of turning nasty. The dad tries to explain to the little girl, but she isn’t convinced.
“Do you come here every evening?”
“I try to.”
He tells her that I’ll be back.
(I didn’t dare tell them that tomorrow I will be dining with Ann and therefore unable to perform. Not to mention that the other dad and the little boy never got the photo with me that they wanted yesterday, but I presume the boy has forgotten by now.) On the way back up The Avenue two teenage girls said hello. I recognised them as ones who had come over to dance, but I can’t say which they were. We chatted for a bit less than a minute. It occurs to me that there are hundreds, perhaps low thousands of persons who could recognise me (if I am wearing what I wear on the beach) but whom I would not recognise in the slightest. I may be imagining it, but I have had the impression of recognition by strangers now and then. That, of course, is what fame feels like – other people know you but you don’t know them.

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