As I was jogging along the beach this morning, I saw in the near distance a young couple in their early 20s sitting together on a beach towel. Well, actually he was laying on his back and she was straddling him. No one else was around, other than surfers out in the water. No big deal though, I assured myself, there's nothing crazy going on. She's wearing a white shirt and black jeans, I noted, and he has on a full-length wetsuit, albeit pulled down to his waist.
In any event they were laying near a set of wooden stairs that I needed to take back up to the street. So I was going to have to run right up to them anyway, no matter what. As I got within about 10 feet of them, the young woman turned her head back over her shoulder and saw me. An involuntary look of shock and horror suddenly came over both our faces. She was clearly surprised to see me there, and I was equally horrified to see that, in fact, her boyfriend's wetsuit was actually pulled down around his knees. And her black pants had some sort of unusual flap (like long johns, sort of), which she was pulling open with one hand.
I was clearly interrupting something that was just (just!) about to happen.To put it delicately I'll default to metaphor. It was as if they were attending a black tie classical music concert that was just about to start. A hushed silence had descended on the crowd as the conductor strode out onto the stage and raised his arms theatrically. Then I had suddenly come bounding down the center aisle waiving my arms over my head and screaming incoherently. That's pretty much about how it was there in that moment on the beach.
But as quickly as that involuntary look of surprise hit us both, it receded back again revealing our true emotions. I looked directly at her with this disapproving, exasperated scowl which said, "What are you doing?!?! Get a room!!!" And she looked back at me with a defiant and equally disdainful stare that said, "Can't you avert your gaze, perv? Where's your camera, freak!?!"
On reflection, there's probably a life lesson in there somewhere. But at the time I just jogged on purposefully, hurriedly dashing up those wooden stairs back up to the street level. As I did so, I heard her bark angrily at her boyfriend, "What! No! Come on!!" I was careful not to look back at them. But I didn't have to. I knew exactly what was happening from the tone in her voice. I had ruined the moment for the temperamental conductor, and he was slowly, but inexorably, lowering his baton and stomping offstage.