Thing no.44

2006

Sunglasses never suit me, probably because I buy them cheap but my girlfriend has a pair of black Pradas that I love. They make me look like an insect, but an insect with taste and influence – a black accessorised wasp. On holiday in Greece I find that they make anything else I wear look like an intentionally casual gesture – as if I’ve left my Prada suit at home.

The beach is long and hot and the water feels like an escape. My girlfriend’s smiling face is bleached out by the sun, her body wavering beneath the surface of the transparent sea. My head still being baked by the sun, I plunge through the surface and the world changes to a silent, out of focus blue. As my head breaks the surface the lapping waves come back into focus with my girlfriend’s now scowling face.

Oblivious to the Prada glasses perched on my head as I dived, they are now somewhere at the bottom of the sea. Treading water at the surface I can see various shapes wavering beneath me but as soon as I dive the image blurs – I can just touch the bottom but I can see nothing. After a few attempts I realise it’s hopeless. My girlfriend borrows some goggles from a man on the beach but I must have drifted. Eventually I have to donate the Pradas to the fish.