The offshore breeze catches your yellow hair at the same time as it hooks at the crests of the waves behind us. It wrenches it aslant like sheaves of wheat in a storm and braids it wildly in the air. You are trying to push it behind your ears but everything is caught up and spiking above its natural arc. The Atlantic ocean with its warm salt smell, puts a fine slick on the denim of our jeans and makes your palms sticky, its not helping you pin down all of that hair that is golden now in the sinking sun.

We climb the rocks at the northern end of the beach and stand behind the line of crouched bodies that imitate the unopened flowers on the ridges of the cactus leaves. Standing behind the squatting balcony that rails the rock mezzanine, we join the crowd to watch the small black actors in the water. The surfers move like iron filings below a swinging magnet, they crowd the base of each rising wave and expand across the smooth spaces in between. Occasionally one or two of them fly off in a downwards diagonal, leaving the chorus to wait in a checkered line for the next contraction. They cut a string of black beads, falling zigzag, one by one towards the shore. They cartwheel backwards like x’s at the bottoms of emails and are swallowed in the white water.

We walk along the paved path that follows the coastline to the southwest. The sun is lower in the sky. There are seven small players dressed in red, and seven in yellow, playing football on the beach. They dash around barefoot, on a scaled-down sandy field. They have an audience too; a line of silhouetted humpty dumpty’s folded into themselves along the edges of the pitch. The little footballers are tangled brown sticks in their billowing polyester uniforms. They scatter and regroup like the surfers, tearing towards the mostly invisible football like seagulls descending on a lone thrown chip. The ball is kicked wildly. Seven yellow shirts, and seven red shirts, drift slowly away from each other, fourteen pairs of eyes trace an arc in the sky. The players wash in and out on a different tide.

We talk about things that swell and dissipate, our voices rising and dropping against the offshore breeze that picks up the curves of the waves and the fringes of the children playing football. The palm trees bend over our heads, reaching out with hundreds of ribbon fingers to the surfers and the footballers that ignore them.

The sound of each wave thunders past us twice as it bounces off the row of white high-rises built back from the high-tide line. The weakened echo is wrenched back out to sea on the offshore breeze. The resort apartments look out, with a thousand square eyes, over the begging palm trees and across the ocean. The homeless sleep against their windowless backs, out of the wind and the view of the beach, where nobody watches.