The beaches were empty, save for the few early morning joggers and type-A Manhattanites staking their claim to a section of prime beachfront. Distracted by the excitement of seeing the open ocean for the first time in months, I walked fifty feet beyond the end of the road. Feeling the familiar yet unnerving feeling of sand bouncing around the inside of my shoes, I stopped. One by one I took each shoe off and threw them in my backpack and stepped into the tepid water.
With the deliberation of a kindergartner picking a scratch and sniff sticker earned from thirty days of punctual attendance, I looked right and left down the shoreline. Squeezing and releasing sand between my toes, I picked a direction and started walking towards a distant turn in the shoreline.
As if attempting to signal distant airliners making their way westward with a mirror, I took off my shirt, exposing the ill effects of a summer's worth of work spent inside. Despite the imminence of a serious sunburn, I marched on enjoying the lapping of the knee-high waves and occasional seagull flying by.
A stairway to heaven.
Meandering down the beach, I stopped frequently to dive into the sporadic waves and do handstands in the morning's heat.