Feet barely skimming the water, sitting on the end of the Miller’s dock on Lake Pillsbury, sunburned and exhausted from a day spent water skiing with my best friends, Lisa and Nellie. My brother, Matt, has just dropped off a contraband six pack of beer.
We’re 13, it’s the end of the summer before we start 8th grade. Boys have been discovered from a distance, but you’d think we knew only the cute, popular boys who may or may not have been flirting in our direction. Deciphering the actions of said boys would become the focus of our entire beings from this moment on.
Our transistor radio is playing Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, no lie. It really was. I remember this night because of this song pretty much. It was a perfect moment.
The moon was almost full, it’s reflection across the water pointed to each of us individually, the warm night wrapped us up altogether as we swung our toes across the silent lake and quickly got falling down drunk for the first time. Collectively we weigh about 22 pounds. I’m not sure how drunk we were from the beer or if it was mostly the inebriating feeling of devious independence.
It was heady, hiding from my parents who were drinking highballs with the Miller’s in the campsite behind us, distanced from my older brothers who were smoking pot on someone else’s dock to our right, we were safe to explore the world of adults, here on this dock at the far end of the lake. No lights in site anywhere on the shores we could see, except for those behind us.
Since then, friendships are measured against this one perfect moment of waning innocence.