The Sting

Taormina is a beautiful seaside town in Sicily, I think about an hour or so on the train from Catania. I ended up spending 4 or so days there. I can’t remember days any more as I did just spend something like 3 months laying on beaches in different part of Europe. I will however not forget this particular day on the beach it’s seared into my memory as a special moment of Sicily and not in the I fond kind of way.

The day started out like any other day. A lazy breakfast followed by the tough decision of which bathers to wear that day then catching the gondola down to the beach. We hired our usual chairs from the place with the yellow umbrellas and the hot life guards and and settled in to read our books, swim and nap the day away before apéritif time (which was around 4ish if anyone was wondering).

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The beach there is a beautiful little alcove with cliffs covered in tress, the water is turquoise and there is some kind of leftover castle off to the left and on the right a small rock emerging from the water. Most people would go and jump off the rock at some stage so we thought time we went out there. So I donned my sunglasses and edged towards the water, slightly afraid as it was pointed out to me that there were jelly fish floating about. You would think that I wouldn’t be afraid of the water or anything in the water having grown up at the beach, however as the years have passed I have slowly become more terrified of the creatures of the ocean. So Dog, Hootie and I headed out to the rock enjoying the beautiful clear water, myself on high alert. We climb up the rock and bask in the sun. I am imagining I kind of look like a mermaid, in truth I looked more like like an albino seal even after the 3 months in the sun I am still as pale as Casper the ghost. After we have basked long enough on the rock it’s time to leave. I am wearing sunglasses remember so I need to gracefully slink off the rock without my face entering the water. I had done this 100 times off the side of the boat in Turkey, I thought I had it down pat. Something went wrong and I ended up belly flopping into the water and my glasses smashing into my face. So we were laughing our way into the beach at my uncoordinated awkward entrance to the water, the thought of jelly fish had left my mind, that was until I was trying to climb up the rocky shore and BAM! Pain rips across my left thigh. I didn’t even see it. It washed into me from a wave and all my friends could do was laugh at me and the entire beach stare at me as I think swore like a pirate, I am to sure my brain was just focusing on the pain and wondering which friend was going to have to pee on my leg to alleviate the burning.
I staggered back to my deck chair and lay down shielding my eyes from the sun. Dog claims I was being melodramatic and throwing my hands back like a damsel in distress. The pain came in weird ebbs and flows and a welt was appearing on my thigh. Terror started spreading through me that it would scar. It would be there for my friends wedding, ruining the photos for eternity, Yep this is where my mind leapt to.
Finally after an eternity during which the debate of which friend would pee on my leg raged: Hootie or Dog? Who loved me more? Who was a more loyal friend? Finally the cute life guard saunters over and squirts some water with bi carb on the injury, very nonchalant, ignoring the fact that I am clearly about to die from the pain. behind me an english couple (who are at least 50 years old) are cat calling him telling him to give me mouth to mouth and I think I heard them say “suck the poison out”. Now the pain slowly subsides but I am just totally mortified.
The English couple is still babbling away amusing themselves telling me to pretend to be hurt later as that is when an even better looking life guard starts work. Then a random American woman walks up and asks me about what happened and pretends to whip out a penis and pee all over my leg. It was all just traumatic and I defiantly needed an Aperol spritz in and around my mouth by that stage.

Good news though it didn’t scar it’s just the emotional wounds that remain. I don’t think they will ever really heal. I defiantly won’t be forgetting Taormina in a hurry.

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