“What else can I do for you,” the sky said,
and added, “now that I have taken off all
my clothes?” (Hafiz)
Our second trip to the clothing-optional beach started out kind of rocky—there was a chilly wind that kept trying to turn our books’ pages for us, Sweetie felt like the current was too strong for her and I kept trying to convince her to come in with me. We had a strangely love-affirming moment when she noticed a scrap of toilet paper on my bare bum and had to cover me up with a towel to get it off. We kept laughing and saying “oh, intimacy,” which is what we say when we are having to do something a little gross for each other. That’s love.
(Just as an aside, I remember David Sedaris writing about seeing TP on someone’s butt at a nudist colony. He wrote about vulnerability and so on, I think, said something like “This is the essence of nudism.” and that strikes me now as obnoxious—really, THAT’S the defining moment? Not the standing around triumphantly or embracing our sweeties or getting swept together in the waves? Only I would be bobbing around in the ocean having an imaginary argument with David Sedaris.)
Anyway, Sweetie has weak, hurty legs, and wanted nothing more than to be left on shore. Once I figured out that I didn’t have to drag her into the rough surf with me, that I was free to fight and float and be pummeled by the waves to my heart’s content (oh, ocean, my original top…) we both relaxed and started to have fun. This can be a metaphor for our entire relationship—we are happiest during the times when we’re both free to be ourselves, whether we’re snuggled up watching back-episodes of Design Star or separate but happily connected. When I relax and let her be herself, sometimes I get exactly what I want, and so does she. Until then, it had been a cloudy day, but the sun was happy to punctuate my epiphany by peeking through the clouds momentarily—it was beautiful. The green water I was floating in was lit up and shimmering, the patch of blue sky contrasting with the swath of dark grey sky on the horizon—raindrops started to fall on the water, and somewhat inexplicably, I got out.
We decided to take our stuff up to the car, have lunch there, and see if the weather cleared. As we started to pack up our towels and books and picnic stuff, I settled into the feeling of rain on my bare skin. I kept getting distracted from what I was doing to face the sky, hold my arms out a little, and smile up into the rain. I love being naked in the rain, and if we hadn’t been averse to our nice picnic rolls getting all soggy, I would have happily stood there all day.
I decided not to put on my dress until we got close to the “attention—nude sunbathers” sign. I saw other people making the same decision as well, carrying their clothes until the last possible moment. I don’t know what I looked like carrying a heavy load of beach stuff with my boobs and hoo-ha all on display, but I know I felt great. Sweet, perfect, laughing joy bubbled up. I asked if we could put the stuff down and stood there in the rain smiling some more---my body loves me at times like this, and I am in total NRE with it, too. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling and feeling ridiculous and silly and beautiful and free. Sweetie’s face lit up too, though her clothed experience must have felt a bit soggier. She loves seeing me so happy. Later she told me I looked beatific and that’s exactly how I felt.
The weather cleared up after our car-picnic, and I got to swim hard for the rest of the day while Sweetie napped and shell-gazed. I even was brave enough to chat with people—the current seemed to want us to be sociable, swooshing us all into a clump—it was fun to have folks to play with me. I came home EXPLODING with sexy, vital energy, my muscles hot and skin flushed, ready to ravish myself, Sweetie, and anybody else who might get in the way. I’m so full of…something, and very grateful to be alive.