I was dreaming. I was aware of that when I woke up & through my sleepy eyes the digital clock read 3:59 am. When I blinked, I heard the dreadful tune of my iphone alarm clock. I wiped my eyes once to make sure, but somehow, the clock now read 5 am. It was the first night in a while that I hadn't woken up at least once to go to the bathroom and the last thing I wanted to do was get up earlier than I had to to watch the sunrise. I took in the feeling of my head against the pillow before I heard the heavy thumps of Hannah's feet against my ceiling. A few minutes passed and my "still wanna go?" text remained neglected, so I peeled back my covers and dragged myself out of bed.
I threw on some sweatpants, not caring that it was 80 degrees and humid, as my toothbrush hung from my mouth. I felt the subtle reminisce of strawberries, dark chocolate, and almond butter still lingering in my lower belly and wondered why I like dessert so much. Spitting the minty foam into the sink and slipping on a cardigan, again disregarding the climate, I stepped out into the kitchen, grunted good morning to Hannah, and we both tiredly walked out the door. With each step to the car, I reminded myself I am a big adventure girl who loves getting up for sunrises. I also silently cursed at myself for not bringing coffee. But yay, sunrise ! ! !
As Hannah & I settled into the car, the sky began to wake up, but the town, not so much. We drove past a dark general store and I counted two cars pass by. A town not fond of the saying "the early bird gets the worm." I fiddled with the aux chord in a sleepy attempt to play sunrise jams like I do when we take early drives to the mountains back in Boulder. Tequilawine, for the 40 thousandth time, will do. I rolled down the window & stuck my arm outside, letting the humidity immediately engulf my skin and open its pores. Damn, I do not miss the humidity. I remember looking at the anchored boats in the harbor to my right as I heard a quick gasp and felt the car jolt. Hannah had almost run over a bunny. Silly rabbit, you almost got hit. Laughing at the close call, I rested my head back on the headrest and shifted my gaze back to the sea. I felt so secluded, so small, so satisfied on this little island. Existing quietly as the town was sound asleep.
We were minutes away from the beach, winding up hills and around bends in the road, when I felt that jolt and heard that high pitched gasp again; although this time, it wasn't quick. The gasp lingered and was followed by a sequence of flying hands, oh my gosh's, and various squeals. Out of the right rear view mirror, I caught a glimpse of a blurry black object with a bushy tail, scurrying back into the woods. I looked over at Hannah, both of us wide eyed and unsure of whether to laugh or keep shrieking. And that's when we smelled it. Hannah had just hit a skunk. The odor that pierced up my nostrils could've fumigated a termite infested house. Notes of weed, raw onions, and a dirty gym sock coursing through the cars air vents. It was 5:45 am and Hannah had just run over a fucking skunk.
We pulled into the beach parking lot, windows down, sleeves pressed tightly to our noses, practically jumping out of the car. Unsure of what to do, we got as far away from the odorous car as possible. When we got down to the shore, we spread out a blanket and silently processed what had just happened, laughed through "just our luck" remarks, and wondered what the hell we were going to do about that God awful smell. The time passed, but the clouds didn't. The sky went from dark to dim. We walked along the sand while the smell of skunk dissipated from our clothes with each step and the hope for a beautiful sunrise faded too.
It was 6:15 am when we threw in the towel (should've thrown in our pungent clothes too) and decided to drive back home. The sun was up, but the sky was white. No sunrise, just skunk. Not too sure about that trade off, but I did learn two things: always check the weather app before getting out of bed at 5 am and never let Hannah drive before the sun comes up.