Here I go again, browsing through my summer photos in the middle of winter. This one above is particularly memorable. It shows my son and my nephew enjoying the waves. This was taken last August, when my sister and her kids came over for a visit. It was an overcast Sunday. I brought some books to read at the beach, but I hardly paid them any attention. We had positioned our umbrellas a few feet away from tower 22 and I was mesmerized by the hot lifeguard who was manning it. Sometimes he would stretch and do some pull-ups. He would strut around like David Hasselhoff. While stealing glances at him, I was wracking up my brains, devising ways of taking his picture without him noticing it. “O WTH. This camera phone’s no good. I’m taking out my big old DSLR with the long-range lenses”, I finally decided. And as I was reaching into my bag, my mother shrieked, “Get the kids out of the water, I see sharks”. I chuckled. This is too much. I know that the lifeguard in his orange shorts and orange phallic-looking lifesaver thingy makes me feel like an extra on Baywatch, but let’s not get too Hollywoody here. This is not Amity Island and, at the moment, I don’t wanna feel like an extra on Jaws. My mother shook my shoulder and pointed at the water. “Look at that! Do you see them?”, she cried urgently. The panic in her voice compelled me to look up. Sure enough, I spotted two black fins slicing through the shallows. They moved with amazing speed. I ran (stumbled mostly in my haste) to my kids and my nephew. It was a rare and surreal moment in my life. While running, I felt this horrible horrible fear and at the same time I felt like throwing my head back and laughing hysterically because the Jaws theme song was playing in my mind. It went: Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duhduh duh duh.
Quietly, so as not to cause mass panic, I dragged the kids to the shore. I checked again for any sign of those fins and noticed that there was nobody left on the water. Everybody was high up on the sand, cameras out, watching, waiting, and pointing at something in the distance. There they were again! Intrepidly swimming back and forth. Suddenly, one of them jumped out. I saw a rounded snout. Dolphins! Haha. All that emotional turbulence because of two playful dolphins! I think everyone saw that, too. Several minutes later, the surfers were back on their boards, waiting for the big one. Children were jumping and rolling with the waves. I heaved a sigh of relief,”Nobody’s gonna be eaten today. This is Santa Monica, not Amity Island!”