My heart beat nervously as the edge of the dark pacific ocean teased my toes. The moon was perfect against the humid August night sky, hazy, wrapped up in it’s blanket of stars that were hidden beneath the San Diego light pollution. I took a big sigh, missing my own stars back at home that were left unadulterated by man’s touch and looked at my best friend. Her eyes met mine in awe of the beauty of the ocean after dark, very much aware that by no means did that mean the ocean was asleep, and a mischievous smile suddenly sprang to her lips.
“We should skinny dip!.” She spoke into the surf.
My eyes darted back to a prestigious hotel my then-boyfriend-now-fiance, worked at. The building was incredible, especially tonight when they had a large private event, multicolored lights ran up the white columns carefully placed to guide the eye around the room. From where we stood there was no way that they would see us, we were too far down the beach, still I could just imagine the look of B’s face if he were called for security detail on two skinny dipping women and finding me. I giggled at the image, my blue eyes twinkling with trouble as I looked at her and started pulling off my shirt.
“Let’s do it!” We quickly stripped off our clothes and ran into the on coming waves, shrieking with laughter as the cold water closed over our belly buttons. Pushing our shoulders underwater and diving into the on coming wave, our Vermont-Crayola-White skin disappeared into the darkness. My heart slowed, matching the sound of the waves against the sand, and I closed my eyes. My hands and feet tingled with anticipation and every cell hummed with the joy of being alive, here and now.
We shivered as we dragged ourselves back out of the ocean, thanking Neptune that we didn’t get eaten by something significantly bigger than us. Quickly grabbing our clothes and drying off as best as we could, slipping back into my nice warm jeans became a much bigger ordeal covered in sand and salt water and I thanked my mother’s voice for reminding me to bring a sweatshirt with me that night.