Greetings comrades! Soon I will unleash a deluge of tales from my most recent adventures! Car accidents! Strangers in strange lands! Intrigue! But, today I am going to post a brief recollection of The Beach Trip. As you might remember, I have a policy never to refuse a ride from a stranger. One day I decided to take that policy a step further.
A myriad of petite sunbursts reflected off her aviators as she asked me, “Wanna go to the beach?” I squinted at this brunette stranger standing outside of my domicile with her three companions. I glanced at their faces, wondering why I had been chosen as worthy of this invitation. None of them looked familiar. I was undeterred.
I was properly attired and seated in someone’s car less than ten minutes later, on my way to the beach for the first time since moving to Grand Rapids. The countryside passed by in an incandescent blur of fields and grasses washed out by the brilliant light of midday. I stared with open curiosity at a chicken meandering its way alongside the tar black highway without any sense of mortality. We spent the car ride in staccato bursts of chatter and amiable silence, accentuated by the never-ending buffeting of the wind racing through our open windows.
Eventually, the road was replaced by the cloudless horizon, and we disembarked. I gleaned snippets of their lives as we lounged on the beach. Our limbs tangled and spread across the sand unencumbered by propriety, a slumbering familial group. The sand was gloriously warm, golden brown–texture like sun.
A boom box was retrieved from the car and enlisted in our quest for the perfect atmosphere. She hooked her iPod into the system, and we reflected audibly on the divergent sounds of the seagulls gliding by overhead and the awkwardly forced rhymes of Soulja Boy. We spent hours basking in the heat until the sun threatened to retire.
The brunette invited me to join her and her companions for dinner at her home. I acquiesced immediately, and we collected our things, saying a regretful goodbye to the sands which had cradled us tenderly as we napped the afternoon away. The blood orange rays set behind us as we left the shores of Lake Michigan and departed for her apartment.
“I learned to make this when I lived in the dorms and didn’t have an oven.” She remarked to me as I observed her create the meal. Her hands moved with surety as she cleverly manipulated the toaster to prepare homemade garlic bread. The glowing red coils hummed with energy as the bread hardened.
After the meal, I said my goodbyes and exited into the cool night air. I quickly gained my bearings and set out for home, perambulating without hurry as I surveyed the stars, unconsciously searching for Orion. I never saw my beach companions again, but I cherished their unfettered gift of camaraderie long after.