Donning our swimsuits, my sister and I took a swim last night. Just the two of us. The water was warm silk around us, lit fluorescent blue by the underwater light. Our legs cast wavey shadows across the bottom as we floated, suspended on inflatable pool toys. It felt illicit, luxurious, and as we edged towards the shallow end to get out, shoulders hunched down against the cool night air, something tugged at the back of my memory.
"I feel like we've done this before," I said to my sister.
"You're right ... " she replied, thinking. And then, "Oh, yeah! Remember that time when we swam naked? And you ... "
I groaned. "Don't remind me."
We were still just kids. Our afternoon play had meandered down to the beach, and we were casting around for something to do. We walked along, kicking at mounds of sand, when it came to me.
"Hey, Anna, let's swim naked!" I thought it was a fabulous idea. Most of the kids our age stripped down to get in the ocean. We didn't, due to our Western bred modesty. But the beach was deserted at the moment, and I was itching for some danger and excitement.
She wasn't too sure at first, but I managed to convince her (like I always did), and a few minutes later we were poised at the edge of the waves, nervously checking all around to ensure nobody saw us. On the count of three, we both dropped our lava lavas, and raced into the waves. The thrill of it went immediately to my head, and my world instantly became sharpened. The sun shone with piercing brightness. The warm ocean enveloped my entire body in its welcoming folds. It was an exhilarating freedom to swim through the waves with no hindering clothes to remind you that you didn't belong there.
When it was time to get out, we edged towards the shore, keeping our shoulders under the friendly waves for as long as we could. Finally we were crouched low in two feet of water, and there was nothing for it but to bite the bullet and sprint for our lava lavas. On one accord we jumped up and ran, dripping, towards the two colorful mounds that were our clothes. Anna grabbed hers and immediately wrapped it around herself. Safe!
I snatched mine up from the sand, and horror dawned as I realized where I had dropped it. In my exuberance to embrace the liberality of swimming without clothes, I hadn't looked down when I shed my hindering lava lava. There, beneath the bright folds of cloth, was a gigantic, warm, soft brown pile of ... poop.
My world slowed down into horrified stop motion impressions. There was the lava lava. There was the poop. There was the poop on my lava lava. There I was, standing naked on the beach with poop on my lava lava.
My only option was retreat. I fled back into the water, and sat there scrubbing furiously while my sister laughed her butt off at me from the shore.