Dresses were thin, trousers were rolled up and sunburns escaped no one. Weekend monkeys hiccupped, holding bottles of rum as they waltzed alone under striped umbrellas. The sun nibbled on our shoulders like carnivorous dandruff. Sunscreen was applied. And applied. And applied again to bronze backs acting as non-stick surfaces.
It was summer and all of us knew it. Hell, three quarters of the town showed up. I don’t even like the beach, but the sunrise lifted me out of bed and it only felt natural to gather up the family and head West. It was a short drive, just one I seldom took. I liked being inside. I liked my records, my television and my silence (when it was granted, which was also seldom).
But today… today was different. Today the sun shone so aggressively while somehow remaining friendly. It shook me out my slumber and slammed me against the wall, only to then offer me an ice cold glass of cherry lemonade. How was I supposed to turn that down? It was cherry, my favorite.
So away we went, beach towels and sandals and innocent grins. Yet none of us knew why we were so excited, so childishly giddy. It didn’t really matter in the scheme of things, so none of us harped on the confusion for more than a moment. Had plans been made they were surely broken because as we tumbled out of the front door three neighbors in plain sight were doing the exact same thing. Wide-eyed and drooling behind stiff pairs of sunglasses. At least ours were stiff. None of us were beach nuts or surf junkies. We like being inside. We like the feel of shag carpet beneath our toes.
Not today though. Today our toes craved the sinking, grainy feeling of sand and not a word was spoken until I shifted the car into park. Unspoken, unanimous impulsion.