Some people tan at the drop of a hat (and towel). Me, I go bright, radioactive red unless I’ve used sunscreen with an SPF somewhere north of “concrete”.
When I was a kid, summer was the season of peeling: nose, ears, arms, legs. (There’s a kind of fascination to stripping off all that skin, maybe something resonating with that dog-eared copy of the How and Why Wonder Book of Reptiles and Amphibians.) I can still remember lying in bed trying not to move, beet-like and on fire except for the areas that had been covered by my shorts and shoes on the Metres for Millions walk one year.
Nowadays, though, I know more about the damage the sun can do, from the cosmetic ook of leathery skin to the real risk of cancer. And peeling looks a lot less rite-of-passage-like on a 50-year-old than someone 35 years younger. Which is why I’m writing this from deep inside a cave, waiting for October to come.