Naked Friends in the SummerbyRjThoughts©
It was August 1988. I had been divorced for two years. I had lost my job of the previous four years in a take-over of the bank. I was lucky though, the business transaction wasn't hostile, and we employees had the choice of keeping our jobs at 3/4ths pay or take three months' severance pay. I took the latter since I had an offer of another job, a move to my uncle's law firm to help setup their Informational Technology department. The new job didn't start for another month. I had time to enjoy the last part of summer.
Growing up, I enjoyed camping, spending weeks up at a state-owned campgrounds, playing with my siblings and other children. I hadn't been there, though, since 1984, when my then-fiancée informed me it was disgusting to spend days without a shower and living in the woods. I decided to take advantage of my time off.
I called the rangers' station, to see if there were sites available. I was in luck; there was one left. "But it's in the new section," the ranger said, "Away from the beach, volleyball courts and softball field."
"I could use the exercise getting there," I told him. I booked it immediately for the next two weeks, the first day beginning at 11 the next morning. Quickly, I called my father to see if he still had some of the old equipment -- tent, table-canopy, stove, sleeping bags. All except the tent were still in the garage.
"It ripped last summer, and I never replaced it." I told him I'd be over in two hours to pick up what was available, after I made a trip to the sporting goods store. All the store had left was a four-person tent. It was big, too big for what I needed, but the price was right, half price. I purchased it, put it in the back of my car, and headed to my dad's house.
As I thought, he had the equipment packed on a trailer waiting for me. He asked if I wanted to put a hitch on my car or wanted to use his truck. I tossed my keys to him. I put the new tent in the space he had left and headed back to my apartment. I still needed to pack my clothes and food.
The ranger was right: The site was far in the back. It was large, surprisingly so. I put up the tent, put the picnic table in the canopy/tent hybrid, and unpacked everything else. I set up my cot and sleeping bag, had enough room to have a makeshift nightstand for the battery-operated lantern my dad gave me.
It was after one and I was hot. I changed into my swim trucks, grabbed a backpack and filled it with a book, two bottles of Dr. Pepper, beach towel and blanket, and headed off to the lakeside beach. I was going to follow the road when I noticed a familiar sight, an almost hidden path.
Memories flooded back to me. I knew where I was, what the new area was once. The state had purchased the old Hotel Ten Eyck property and turned some of it into 10 new campsites, each large and enclosed in old pine and ash trees. I turned around and returned my site. If I remembered correctly, where I was camping was near an old, secluded part of the lake.
The swamp path was still there, and still not used much. I quickened my pace, believing that not many people knew about this. I emerged from a thicket of juniper bushes and birches, onto the rocks that separated the beach from the woods. My heart sank when I saw three blankets, four people sitting on them, each one reading. It took me a moment, though, to realize that the four were women, each at least 20 years my senior.
"Good afternoon young man," a gray haired woman said to me. Her voice was very pleasant, no shock in her tone. She looked to be in her mid to late 40s, her pony-tailed hair length reached the middle of her back. I saw her blue eyes had a twinkle; her smile was warm and welcoming. She put her book down on her blanket and stood. "I'm Alicia," she told me, walking. She put her hand out. I took it.
"I'm Chance," I told her.
"What an unusual name," another said. She was older than Alicia was, perhaps by as many as 10 years. Her hair, too, was gray, but cut very short, almost military length. There was something about it, how it played against her body that made me inhale deeply. "I'm Norma," she said in introduction. I smiled and nodded.
"How did you pick up a name like Chance?" she asked. "You don't need to answer it, I'm just being nosy."
"Norma, please," a third woman stated. She was rising, and I moved to her blanket to introduce myself. "I'm Marian." She was the shortest, stood perhaps 5 feet, if that. She was perhaps in her mid-40s. She had soft red hair, cut to her shoulders. Behind her glasses was a pair of crisp winter blue eyes. She smiled and accepted my hand.
"I'd like to know how you were christened Chance, too," a fourth woman said. She didn't move from the blanket she shared with Alicia. Her long, gray hair was wet, pulled into a ponytail. She looked at me with dark brown eyes, and her book was face down, waiting for her to open it. "I'm Frances, but everyone calls me Franny."
I stood silent for a moment, looking for a way to gracefully leave the beach and give them some privacy. I noticed their tans, more specifically; I noticed that they lacked visible tan lines. I knew the reason they were here. "Please, why don't you join us," Alicia offered. "There's room for you."
"Put your blanket right next to me," Norma said. Back to her blanket, she patted the empty sand next to her.
"Please," Alicia added. "And once you're comfortable, you can tell us how you were given Chance as a name."
I quickly made myself space, spread out the blanket, and placed my book and towel down. I grabbed the book and put it next to my towel. It garnered smiles. I sat and looked at my beach mates.
"Why are you named Chance?" Norma asked.
I smiled and looked at the women, each with their undivided attention on me. "It's easier to say than Etienne," I told them. Before they could ask questions, I stated, "I was christened Etienne, but when I was three, I contracted viral pneumonia. Given hours to live and received last rights, my mother held me while my father, grandparents, and great-grandmother stood.
"Hours turned into days, and days turned into a week. Ten days later I left the hospital, the only lasting scar from it was the loss of 30% function in my left lung. My maternal great-grandmother began to call me Chance after that, because I was given a 'second chance at life'."
I looked at the woman. All had tears welling in their eyes. I didn't want to ruin the day, the sun was warm and the water looked inviting, so I quickly changed the subject. "How's the water?"
"Not as cold as you would think," Frances said breaking the down mood. "I'm the only one of us that's been in it," she added, giving her friends a sneer. The others sat silent, looked away from her.
I looked at the four, looked at the water, removed my glasses and shrugged my shoulders. "I love this lake," I said. I stood and quickly made my way into the water. I jumped in hands first.
Frances was right: It wasn't as cold as you'd think.
"How is it?" someone asked as I surfaced.
"Refreshing," I answered, unable to determine which one spoke.
"I told you so," Frances said.
I smiled to myself, picturing the other three women rolling their eyes or shaking their heads. I approached the shore, refreshed and willing to towel off and join my new friends in reading.
"Chance," Alicia began, "how do you know about this place, that is, if you don't mind answering."
"I was just exploring one day when I was younger and found this place."
"Did you come here often?" she asked.
"You're being so nosy," Norma commented. "Why don't you leave the young man alone?"
I didn't mind answering. I liked it, showed them that I wasn't trying to hold secrets. I stayed in the water, dipping down to allow the water to cover my shoulders.
"I'd come here in the morning, right after breakfast. I'd have my blanket, towel, a book and a couple cans of soda I'd put in the water to keep cool."
"Did your parents ever wonder where you were?" Marian asked.
"I found this when I was 18. By then, they didn't care where I ran off to, as long as I was back by dinner."
That comment caused them to chuckle.
"I wish my kids did that," Norma said. I thought I heard someone say, "I know what you mean," under her breath.
"Did you do anything else when you were on this beach?" Alicia asked. I could almost feel a tension begin, one that I felt often in college, when I'd meet female students in certain situations.
"I don't understand what you mean?" I asked, lying through my teeth. I knew exactly what she meant.
After a few moments of silence and looking at each other, Frances spoke. "Do you remove your clothing when you're here alone to swim? Do you like to skinny dip?"
"Franny," Norma said in shock, but it didn't sound sincere.
"Of course," I stated, without hesitation.
"Do you mind if we did, if we removed our swimsuits?" Alicia asked.
"Not at all," I responded. With that, I watched all four women remove their suits, and without indecision. I was fortunate to be in the water, or I would have embarrassed myself: I became hard.
I always felt an attraction to older women. I thought of them as beautiful, wonderful people not caring for social constraints. They were uninhibited, at least not with or around me. Because of this, I grew to adore mature women.
"This is much better," Frances said as she pulled down the straps and top of her one-piece, releasing her breasts. She had no tan lines. Her nipples were dark pink and large and erect. She smiled at me and put out her chest some in a move that was both silly and sensual. She slipped the rest of the suit over her ass and down her legs.
I heard someone giggle. I turned my head to the right. "I think he likes what he sees girls," Norma said. She was topless, the top of her two piece at her feet. She shimmied to remove her bottoms.
Alicia was standing, her back to me. I saw her drop her one piece to her blanket. Her wide hips and corresponding ass were, too, without lines.
I edged closer to shore, to get a better look.
"I know he does," I told them. I cast aside my reservations, as if I had any, and walked to the shore, removing my swim trunks before I reached my blanket. I tossed the wet shorts onto the edge and grabbed my towel, dried off, and sat. I grabbed my glasses and looked to the four women.
"What do we do now?" I joked.
Frances reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle filled with water. She put it down and reached in again. She pulled out a plastic cup. "I'm having a drink then going to read," she said in a matter-of-fact manner.
I grabbed my soda and opened it. "That sounds like a good idea." I took a big gulp of the soft drink before placing it in the sand, a natural coaster.
"What's that you're reading?" Alicia asked.
"A mystery anthology," I answered, finding the bookmark.
"Is it good?" she asked.
"It is. It's a collection of pulp fiction favorites from the '30s." I showed her the cover.
"Where did you get it?"
"Bookstore in Schenectady," I answered. I told her the name and gave her the address. She grabbed a piece of paper and pen from her bag and wrote it down, telling me that the next time she was in the city she would visit it.
I opened my book again and started to read.
I didn't find it difficult to concentrate on the book with four naked women with me. I snuck looks now and then, allowed my mind to wonder to what they would be like in bed with me. When they would catch me staring, they would just smile.
I read three short stories, all written in 1933, before I returned to the lake. The feeling of the cool water on my hot, sweaty body was very refreshing. I gazed back at my newfound nude friends. They had put their books aside to watch the young man swim.
Alicia smiled as she brought her knees to her chest.
Frances' smile was warm and honest, made me feel like she wanted to be my friend, and knew I would be for a long time.
Norma had stood and walked to the lake's edge. She went in ankle deep but retreated to her blanket quickly. She whispered something to Norma that caused both the laughed loudly.
Marian leaned back on her hands, giving me the best view of her body. It showed that she was proud of her nudity and didn't mind that I saw her as naked. She smiled honestly and winked out me when it was evident that I was lusting.
I wanted to do more with my friends that day, but I knew it would not happen. The four were nudists, happy being unclothed around others. They flirted with me, giving me hope that something more could happen, but I knew it would not that day.
I returned to my blanket and picked up my book. Marian and Alicia stood. They walked to my blanket and leaned down, their breasts in my face.
"Thank you for being a gentleman," Marian said before kissing my cheek. Alicia kissed my opposite cheek and bused my lips with another. They walked into the water and swam for a bit.
I returned the following day, hoping to see all four. Only Marian and Norma were there, both waiting for me, both nude and reading.
"They'll be here later," Norma said.
I was excited that all five of us would be nude together again.