Sweatpant Sessions #1–Nightswimming

Welcome to [the Official] Part 1 of my “Sweatpant Sessions”! This one goes out to my brother, Nathan (Natey), and to my cousins on mom’s side of the family. Hopefully no one finds this story too embarrassing…

Back when we were all energetic, innocent kids, the whole troupe of us decided to go skinny-dipping one night when our extended family was camping at Kootenay Lake. It started with a game of poker, which we jokingly called “strip poker,” but of course none of us actually wanted to take any clothes off when we lost a hand. Instead, we decided the compromise would be that the loser had to go for a naked swim after dark. 

One of the younger cousins ended up losing, and for the sake of moral support, we decided we couldn’t send him off alone, so it became a group cousin skinny-dipping session. After the sun had set, and adults were starting to settle in for the night in campers or in front of campfires, the six of us snuck out onto the rocks, leaving our bathing suits behind and slipping into the cold nighttime water. The youngest of my cousins (at least, the youngest of the group involved) was afraid to be in the water at night, so he was nominated to stay up on one of the rocks shining a flashlight down at us. The point of this was to create safe passage up and down the rocks, but of course he caught plenty of nude scrambling up and down in his spotlight, and would giggle and shine it at those of us in the water doing dolphin dives–sticking bare bums into the air in the glow of the flashlight and making jokes about the “full moon.”

Nowadays, when people mention skinny-dipping with a suggestive wink or eyebrow raise, I just think of this happy innocent time in my childhood. Cousin bonding in the waters of Kootenay Lake. As I said before, hopefully the innocence and joyfulness of the story keeps it from being too embarrassing for any of those involved.

This song, Nightswimming, by R.E.M. was introduced to me by Natey who-knows-how-many years ago. R.E.M. is one of his favourite groups, but it wasn’t their version that first got me into the song. It was a cover that Ingrid Michaelson did where she looped all of the background parts–all done vocally, completely acapella. I’m afraid I don’t have the technology or skill to imitate her cover, but here’s one of my own: