"I want to live-
I want to run through the jungle
the wind in my hair
and the sand at my feet"
~The Animal Song,Savage Garden~
Warm under the Jamaican sun's direct rays - Ocean breeze blowing steadily towards shore - White sands begging for naked toes, almost too hot to stand.
I had been eyeing the tall dividing hedge for five days now. I tried to talk her into going with me. Not necessarily because I wanted her there, but because I felt I needed the support of my friend with me, like a crutch. Everyday was the same answer. "Let's go tomorrow." So I waited.
She sipped Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris by the pool in her upscale mirrored shades and designer one piece suit, flirting with any of the guys that walked past her. She was all about presentation, my friend. "Appearances are everything" was her view. I hated that about her, yet loved her just the same. We were/are so different.
When I threw this idea at her, something daring/freeing, she didn't bite. It's not her. Take a walk of the wild side. Come with me. "Tomorrow." Always tomorrow. I gave up on tomorrow. False promises. It was all about her, her, her.
We would do what she wanted. True, she paid for most of our vacation, but still... I was hardly the company she had envisioned when she invited me. I think had she known how I would be, she would not have asked me.
Belly slightly bulging with child. Nauseous from morning sickness. Not partaking of alcohol. Barely able to eat the Jamaican fare. Delicate stomach. Not staying up late dancing the night away. Early to bed. Early to rise. Wanting to catch the sunrises and sunsets. Wanting to feel the beauty of this wild place and not be part of a false touristy scenery.
Not at all the traveling mate she had envisioned.
I became tired of waiting for tomorrow, or maybe it was more that I finally acknowledged that she was merely placating me and had no intention of following through. We were different.
She was not a beach person. She was pool. She was about cool image. I was about toes in the sand. She was about looks. I was about touch. I was going to follow my whim which was calling me stronger than it ever had. I didn't want to let this one slip by.
"Have fun by the pool" I smiled before heading off.
She looked at me over glasses, eyebrows arched. "You're not seriously going over there are you?"
Me, looking back at myself in her shades. "Watch me - I'll be back in a few hours."
I walked toward the beach, took a sharp left through the opening in the privacy screen dividing the two areas. I felt exhilarated. I was doing what I wanted for ME. Several golden bodies already had places staked out. They were not all necessarily the chiseled fine sculptured bodies like David. But there was something about them, freeing, and confident. They had their own glow. It was something I craved. I wanted that glow.
I headed for a section near the water, to hear the surf, to feel the cool spray from the waves rise up and mist over me. I wanted to feel the beach. Feel the edge of the beach. Become a part of it. I dug a spot for my swollen belly and laid my towel out over it. Tossed book at the head of it. Nestled iced gingerale in portable holder at the top too, but in the shade of the umbrella.
Peeling out of oversized T-shirt. Slipping out of elasticized shorts. Sliding shoulders out of straps of pink striped circus tent style bathing suit. Slowly peeling the hideous, constraining cloth down and off my body, stepping away from it and into something much better. Freeing and confident. No concern for image. Layers tossed aside. My own skin.
I walked down to the cool waters. Slid into the sea surrounding myself with the sensation of touch. Feeling one with the waves as they washed over me, freeing me. I submerged myself. Swimming under the surface, wishing for goggles, but not needing to see. I felt her touching me, the sea. Caressing my skin without barriers. Hair flowing with the currents. Surfacing, I emerged from our dance.
I rose out of the waters, headed to shore with my wet hair clinging to me. Only. Digging toes into the sand. No longer hot against my cooled, sea kissed skin. I lowered myself into the depression in the towel to let the sun dry me off. Hairs standing up one by one as the sun warmed my skin. Fully sensitized to the air/sun/sea. I was free. Free of my self imposed constraints if only for these few hours. I did not need my friend with me. She could be her image by the pool. I was my touch by the sea. For a time, I stepped out of my mask and into my skin.