I am cold in a way I understand, in a way that comforts me. My toes separate as I sink into the sand. I know this is a dream but I chose to lie to myself anyway.
The sky is dark but a horizontal light weaves between the scattered crowd like gunfire. The light makes me aware I am not alone now. These people feel close but I am sure I don’t know them, they are here for the same reason.
Somehow I know what happens next like this was planned, I don’t remember getting here. I am sure it is a dream but the goosebumps on my skin argue it’s not.
A wind coming from behind seems to be pushing us forward. In staggered unison we all start to walk, small steps at first, edging towards the darkness. I want to look left or right for reassurance but I decide against it, I get the feeling everyone does the same.
I see a young woman braver than I start to edge forward, she is wearing a bikini. It’s cold, I look down, I am wearing swimming trunks. Did we plan this?
I become aware I am now middle of the pack in the slowest race ever run. Curiosity starts to overtake fear on mass and we start to move as a unit towards the blackness.
The goosebumps turn to mounds as I hear it for the first time. The ocean crashing into the sand. My skin wants to jump from my muscles in anticipation, but I am excited. I now know the plan, instinct is taking over.
My excitement starts to manifest itself in a grin, this is what happiness should feel like. I hear laughing from the distance. I look down and I am caught off guard by my legs, they have started to move faster.
The gear has been shifted up, the walk has now become a jog. My breathing adjusts as my skin tightens. The ocean is louder now, or closer, it’s hard to tell. The laughing is louder too, closer? Or is there more of it?
My thoughts have distracted me, the jog became a sprint. Sand is kicking up against my legs like acid rain, every nerve end of my body is sensitive in anticipation. I am not sure what happens next but I am ready.
The ocean is close now, but I am not sure, there a more sounds, more laughter. I got confused, some of it is mine. I am laughing, screaming with joy. I am not alone, I am part of a unit, warcries of the young and happy.
The sand becomes wet under my fight, I can see it, water. It is trying to escape us, pulling its self back into the darkness. It will not escape, we all need this. I am sure this is why we are here.
The chase is on, the screams become loud, I can’t hear anything but we all keep running.
I then realize the water was teasing us in, waiting for us. It gathers itself up tall in the form of a 10-foot wave ready to embrace us. No one stops running, this is it. This is why we are here I am sure.
Crash… the screams become silence. In a second my body is saturated, I thought I would be cold, in pain, but in this moment I am nothing. No worry, no pain, I feel myself. The wave is never-ending, it continues to wash over me, I feel alone with everyone.
My lungs want air but I am not ready for this to be over yet, survival forces my hand. My head breaks through the surface as if it was glass. In staggered unison my new friends do the same, beautiful souls rising up from the water as if to be leaving our old bodies behind.
I know now I am dreaming, I am done lying to myself. I am just happy to know that a moment like this can exist.