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Vulnerable and Naked in the Hot Tub
Not a good time to be surrounded by masked invaders.
So there we were, overstuffed after one of Dan’s gourmet meals, surfeited on Chicken Cordon Bleu, tender asparagus tips with hollandaise, and decadent chocolate mousse. Cappuccino attempted to balance all the vine rose and Chenin Blanc we consumed — so stuffed, we could barely move.
Instead of rolling straight home into bed, we took off our clothes, grabbed towels, and assembled in the backyard. Dan and Federico pulled the cover off the redwood hot tub. The steam from the water merged with the night’s fog.
The play between the piping hot water and the cool, foggy air was delicious on our skin. Up and down, in and out, alternating submerging and raising up to sit on the edge, keeping our feet in the steamy drink.
Five of us…feeling full, fat, and frisky. Not in a sexy way. But sharing stories, passing joints, telling jokes, praising the nighttime sky, and our friendship. A perfect nightcap on a perfect night.
That is until I turned around.
My eyes popped; my head snapped right back. Looking straight ahead, I took a breath, gathered my strength, and said, don’t all look at once, but we’re surrounded.
A ring of figures in black masks, just their eyes showing.
Mean scowls on their faces, staring straight at us — eyes boring holes with piercing glares. Frozen in place, none of them moving, breathing heavily, just staring us down.
Chills ran up and down my spine.
My insides shook with fear’s frigid cold despite the hot, hot water. I slid down up to my neck as if H2O was a magic shield that could protect me. What were they after?
I looked at Dan, our host. This was, after all, his backyard. They were his invaders. Could he keep us safe, or were we all about to get mauled?
I thought I heard one of them say, freeze with your hands up! How can you freeze in a hot tub? I think I heard another one say, get out of our tub. Now! And yet another, this one’s mine!
It was a long staredown.
No one moved for minutes that felt like hours as they edged even closer. Being buck naked amplified our vulnerability to a power of ten at least — especially for we three women. Sooner or later, all our desperate eyes riveted on Dan, pleading, do something!
Finally, he stood up, trying to be taller, thicker, and stronger than his lythe slight frame. Suddenly he turned, waving his arms like a madman, screaming, get the hell out of here!!! NOW!!!! Encouraging us all to do the same.
One by one, we found our sea legs and joined him in the fray. Breasts bouncing, arms flailing, wailing like banshees. It was those high-pitched lady screams that finally did the trick.
One by one, six raccoons slunk away into the fog of night.
One by one, five scared and scary humans slipped back into the drink, this time laughing, releasing the tension, happy to have a clear path back to the house.
Next time, we may have to light one of those lemony citronella torches that keep the skeeters away. See if waving fire does the trick. Either that or have a gun we can shoot into the fog-bound sky.