“It’s rubbish, though, isn’t it?”
“What’s rubbish?” She sat up. Her sunglasses were pointless in the dimming light so she pushed them up to nestle in her salt-tangled hair.
“This,” he waved a hand. “The beach. It’s rubbish. Sea. Sand. All that… horizony stuff. Rubbish.” He fell back onto his towel and squirmed a finger in his navel to pick out some sand. First holiday in three years and he seemed determined not to enjoy it. The highlight so far was seeing a container ship in the distance. Container ships were, in his opinion, just about prosaic enough to ruin a seascape.
“You see a sunset and your first thought is that it’s ‘horizony rubbish’? Horizony,” she said, standing and dusting herself down. “Isn’t even a word.” She reached for her parasol as he considered this.
“Perfectly good word, as it happens. It means… like a horizon. Horizontal, but that bit of… sky… skyland… that is most… most like a horizon.” He looked down and, sheepish, scraped out a small scoop of sand.
“Babbling nonsense,” she declared. “If you don’t like the seaside, why did you come on holiday with me?” He fiddled with the sand he had excavated, building with it. She walked away, prancing theatrically along the shoreline with her parasol held high. “Do I spoil the view?”
“You are the view!” he shouted, pushing the tiny sandcastle he had formed back into its fresh-dug grave. Then, to himself, “Everything else is rubbish.”