Hard sun

Melbourne sun is hard.

Midday. It’s only 20 or so degrees in Melbourne’s downtown and I can feel the sun going deeper than any Californian sun, like thousands of little blades nicking at my skin. No longer a sun-thirsty tan-seeker, I hide under trees and buildings and keep my tattoos covered.

5:30pm. We’re on a quiet Phillip Island beach, waist deep in the water, surreptitiously smoking a joint. Being in the ocean does incredible things to me. I dive under a couple of times, even though the water’s cool, and feel my heart rate slow down.

We lie in the sun for half an hour. The sun is much softer at this time of day. It feels just right.