Once upon a time I went skinny dipping in Mendoza, Argentina…
The time was 8am
I was drinking coffee in the communal hostel room in Mendoza, Argentina with my sexy Canadian friend from Vancouver Island–her name is Tan. I had met her at a Buenos Aires hostel a few weeks back. Anyway, I had just finished sending out an article pitch to magazine editors in the common area to try and earn a bit of coin for the week and now we were trying to decide what to do for the day. She told me she met a Belgian chick last night who wanted to go to some lake close by, and it sounded fun, so she hit her on WhatsApp and said “LET’S GO!” Off we went to meet her on the other side of town.
It was humid outside the Lao Hostel in Mendoza, Argentina
Tan and I walked out onto the palm-tree lined street to head towards the Belgian chick’s hostel. All the bars and clubs we passed along the way were already setting up for the evening, and there were many of them… Kind of like the Gaslamp District in San Diego meets the Meatpacking District in NYC… By the way, here’s the story about the first time I ever stayed at a hostel in San Diego after you’re done reading this…
Anyway, we walked two miles—Or shall I say three kilometers—to the Mendoza Inn, the grimy hostel where the Belgian chick was staying. The hostel had a pool. In a few days, I’d be having awkward sex in that shitty pool at 5AM with some French girl in front of the hostel staff, but that’s another story…
The Belgian chick and some tall dude were waiting outside for us in the heat. I wiped all the billions of beads of sweat from out my eyeball and both the Belgian chick and dude she was standing with towered over me like I was their shadow. I felt miniature. The Belgian chick wasted no time before she said impatiently:
“But first I would like an empanada und achtuwally da place fer empanadas iz right der.”
So we went to the empanada joint but by the time the damn empanadas were ready, an hour had gone by and the German dude stood up and said he had to pack cause he was going to Buenos Aires or some shit, and so now it was myself, the Belgian girl—Let’s call her Tina—and Tan.
Skinny dipping was still a distant desire in the back of my mind.
We hopped in a cab outside the empanada joint and headed to the bus terminal to buy a ticket to go to Potrerillos, the small town by the lake we were goin to. I FaceTimed my dad on the bumpy bus ride through the mountains to make sure the girls knew I was a family man. Dumb thing to do, but I did it.
We get to Potrerillos like an hour or so later and the lake was full of wind-surfers. It was like the Lake Tahoe of Argentina. That’s when the thought came to me that this might be my chance to go skinny dipping with foreign chicks–a good thought, but anxiety provoking.
We got off the bus and walked towards the lake. The topic of sex came up… Probably cause I brought it up.
“I like tall black guys,” Tina says.
“Me too,” Tan agrees.
Hmm… I’m not a tall black guy. The mission just got harder.
My knee sinks into mud.
All of our knees sink into mud. It’s like quicksand. I nearly fall. I look around and there’s nothing but quicksand. So we try to get to dry land but it just keeps getting worse. There’s no telling which way to escape so I get a bit scared that the mood might never be right to get naked and jump in that fucking lake… but I took a pic anyway.
An hour passes and we’d only walked a few hundred feet cause of the damn mud. Finally, we got to the dry side of the lake all covered in black crusty mud–looked like tar.
It was about a 100 degrees—or should I say forty grados Celsius.
A small enclave of open blue water was only a few feet—I mean meters–away from us. It was hidden and couldn’t be seen by any of the kite-surfers at the other side of the lake.
We jumped in to rinse off and while cooling off, I realized this was my shot. Skinny dipping had to happen.
My heart rushes… DO IT!
SAY SOMETHING GREG!
So I opened my mouth:
“Should we skinny dip too? For you know, a good story?”
“Ohhh the writer wants a good story,” Tan says.
“Don’t you?” I plead my case.
“I mean, I don’t care. I’m game.”
SWEET! Then I turn to Tina.
“I stay der an watch.”
Hmmm… I think to myself, is one chick good enough for a story?
But before I had time to second guess myself, Tan threw off her bathing suit and was naked. In a matter of moments: bathing suit gone. No hesitation. She’s naked.
I’m officially almost skinny dipping
I got naked.
THIS WAS HAPPENING EXACTLY AS I PLANNED!
Since when does life do that???
I throw my bathing suit onto the dry mud surrounding the lake.
I’m skinny dipping!
So refreshing… But then I reached down under the freezing cold water and realized…
It was shrinking. Oh no. Serious shrinkage. FUCK.
I couldn’t even enjoy the moment. I’m freaking out and Tan is already getting out of the water to dry off. But I’m too scared to get out, so I stay in the water forever, embarrassed at absolutely everything. My towel was so far away. They’d have me in clear view for like A MINUTE before I could cover myself up! So, I make several comments about how cold the water is, hoping they get the point.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Seinfeld.
Five minutes later (which is a long time while people are waiting)…
I realize I couldn’t stay in there any longer. It was getting worse and worse and I was shivering and FUCK!
ME AND MY STUPID FUCKIN STORY IDEAS!
Tan is already dry, looking flawless as she toweled herself off one last time, not in any rush to put her clothes back on. Tina is beginning to notice I’m not getting out for some odd reason.
THINK GREG, THINK!
I stay in the water completely petrified to do anything. Then, without control:
“Throw me the towel!” I say.
“In there, hey?!” Tan says like a Canuck.
“Yeah, why not hey?” Even in moments of terror I can’t stop making fun of her Canadian accent.
She throws me the towel while laughing. But then I realize: Oh no, my cover is totally blown!
NOW THEY KNOW I AM—They probably think I’m embarrassed about—-But—-No!!! It’s shrinkage!! TURN AROUND! THIS ISN’T HOW IT NORMALLY IS! I SWEAR!
I get out fast as fuck and nearly fall back into the lake as I try to wrap the towel around me, which doesn’t work cause the rocks are slippery on my way outta the water and I nearly wipe out. I reach for my bathing suit and try to get it back on as fast as possible.
But it was too late.
Or was there?
I don’t know, but it felt like there was. I mean, they saw. Geez. This fucks up everything. I had no idea what to do as we sat for lunch in silence on the hard mud, so I pretended like nothing was bothering me.
But I had to do SOMETHING to redeem myself.
WHAT COULD I DO?!
That’s when I saw it. It was love at first idea…
“LET’S JUMP OFF THAT CLIFF!!!” And I point to some not-so-high cliff.
“No,” they say.
“Come on! Come do it with me!”
I was desperate to erase that horrible memory from everyone’s mind.
“Okay fine… HOW ABOUT THERE?” I say like a moron and point to an extremely high cliff, much higher than the first one I pointed to.
“I’ll do dat,” Tina says.
“But you won’t jump from there?”
“There isn’t high.”
“So you’ll only jump from high?”
“Fine. Let’s go.”
We go up to the top of the cliff. We are a million feet in the sky.
“Wait,” I say, “I just need a bit of time.” Oh man I am REALLY fucking this day up.
After thirty minutes of nearly peeing myself, I realize that if I don’t jump from this fucking cliff after all that just happened, I will never live this down. I could see myself on the bus ride back looking down at my feet in regret for not jumping. I couldn’t let this regret into my life and so I stood up and said:
“OKAY! I’M READY!”
She grabbed my hand. Maybe she wants to fuck?
“THREE, TWO, ONE—Wait… On one? Or after one?”
“Three, two, one, JUMP—and den we jump.”
“So we jump on jump?”
And finally… We jump…
After ten million high-fives, we got out of the water…
The last bus back was at 19:00. We had missed it. SHIT. We were an hour and a half away from the hostel.
“LET’S HITCHHIKE BACK TO DER HOSTEL!” Tina says.
It was desert hot and I hadn’t hitchhiked since I was a teenager… But now we were left with no choice. So, we stuck our thumbs out.
A random bus picked us up.
Woof… that was lucky.
I ask the Belgian chick if she wants to go for a walk when we get back. We end up at a park and I ask for a kiss.
“I’m not really into you, but yer a big boy and can take der rejection, right?”
“Sure,” I say. “No big deal.”
We hung out for another hour then I walked her back to her hostel, and then I walked back to my hostel.
She hits me up in the morning and says, “I’m right by your hostel.”
I text her back, “So?”
“Maybe you can let me in to see der rooms?”
So whatever, I let her in. She wants to go back to the park, so we go back to the park and lay down on the grass. On the grass she says, “You know I’m getting horny.”
“Thought I wasn’t your type.”
“But maybe we still have sex?”
So we run back to the hostel and fuck in the bathroom.
But all that’s beside the point. The point is, I wanna tell you what happened the next day…