Naked


This morning I saw a naked girl.

Not for the first time, of course. Just for the first time at 7 am on a public beach.

On weekends it’s not unusual to see some people making their way down to the sand, having just come from a long night out. Most of the time, whatever they had consumed the night before was still at work so they tend to behave like anyone would who was still drunk/high at 7:oo in the morning: like knuckleheads.

Today, though, was a first: a girl and her two male friends slowly made their way down the steps, she a little more off-balance than the blokes. She took off her shoes and started across the sand to the shoreline, looking back every few steps.

Then off came the shirt, then the bra. The rest followed after a brief tease and then she was in the ocean.

The funniest part about it — to me — was the reaction from onlookers: some literally sat up straighter, most stopped walking and stared and a few had puzzled looks. A child asked her mother, “Mommy, why did that lady take off her clothes?”

Why, indeed.

The sight of this naked girl splashing in the surf held everyone’s attention, even if just for a moment. My own thoughts were forgotten as I watched and wondered what would happen next. A nearby swimmer was apparently (and unsuccessfully) flirting with her. A few dogs strained at their leashes while their masters stopped in their tracks.

What was on everyone’s mind?

As I looked around me my best guess would be that — even if just for a moment — most people’s thoughts up until now were replaced with a fantasy of what could be, might be — of having.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it?

So much of our time is spent measuring our approximation to that which we desire, that which we imagine (through conditioning) to be, at the very least, a node on our trip to everlasting bliss.

Don’t get me wrong — my attention was focused on this girl, just like everyone else’s. It’s not everyday you are sipping coffee at the beach early on a Sunday and suddenly there’s a naked girl running along the beach.

But that’s all it was, really: a naked girl on the beach at 7 am on a Sunday.

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