Yes, I go to a nude beach. With my boyfriend. Think what you will; I like having God gaze down upon my bare (and now quite pink) ass as I watch the waves roll in. I know He has a wide prudish streak, but if dropping my bathing suit for a day is out-of-bounds, then hell is overrun with pygmies. I find this unlikely.
My boyfriend and I are at the nude beach, settled a few yards behind a lifeguard stand. It’s a gorgeous, clear day; throngs of people pack the beach. Mid-afternoon I go for a swim, leaving my boyfriend with his book. Forty-five minutes later I head back to our towels. When I get to the lifeguard stand, I scan the beach for our spot.
If you’ve ever looked for an average-sized person on a congested beach, you know the stomach lurch that accompanies the realization that you may never see them again. If you’re on a nude beach, the panic is doubled, as there are no identifying bathing suits to aid in your quest. We had situated ourselves behind a lifeguard stand; of this I am sure. I must be in the right place. Unless. . .
Unless I’m at the wrong stand.
Could the water have pulled me that far over without my noticing? It was calm; I’d felt no undertow. Still, I have to go looking.
I trudge off toward the next lifeguard stand. It’s a good distance away. The sand scorches my feet, and my gait takes on a pained, hopping bounce most unflattering to my breasts. I move toward the water and take up my journey, eyes searching for my boyfriend. This is also a trial: As I move farther from the beach, my eyes strain, distracting me from sucking in my stomach. When I try to do both, my diaphragm goes into spasm.
When I come to the next lifeguard stand, I cut up onto the beach. I look hard in every direction. No boyfriend. I wonder if I could possibly be looking right past him, like he was hidden in plain sight. I hope not; I like to think I’d recognize his face, if not his penis. Crowded beach or not.
Diaphragm aquiver, I head back from where I came. Judging by the amused sympathy in people’s eyes, I know I look desperately lost. (Looking lost dressed is one thing. Looking lost naked is entirely another.) I can’t even ask anyone to use their cell phone. Despite my memory for phone numbers, I find my boyfriend’s impossible to remember. I quiz myself periodically, but under this kind of pressure, I’m guaranteed to choke. There’s nothing to do but keep moving.
“Excuse me,” a woman asks. “Are you lost?”
There’s no question she’s talking to me. “Yes!” I cry, like I’ve been rescued after 58 days on a life raft without food or water. “I am!”
“Come. You’re down this way. Your towel is next to mine.”
As the woman leads me away, I become aware that my ass feels slightly burned. I think how much worse it could have been. Heat stroke, dehydration, windburn. . . this could have ended in tragedy. Survivor shows on the Discovery Channel, like “I Shouldn’t Be Alive,” come to mind.
I wonder if they’d be interested in my story.