Once upon a time in a body far far away, there was no thought process associated with nudity- i didn't care when or how or who- if the situation called for naked, the clothes came off and i was in.
Is it an age thing? I was late twenties to early thirties when my someone called out naked people- as in she was not one of them. Select scenes flashed through my mind- annual trips to the only clothing optional National Park in the country; full frontal in an independent film; working as a dancer; membership to the women's bathhouse -- not to mention countless hot tubs, saunas, nude beaches and the exhilirating shreiks of high altitude skinny dipping in an alpine lake- nipples as sharp as the icicles floating by on the crystalline water...
The first clue that inhibitions were setting in was a recent trip to the beach with a an old friend and his new friends. Fast forward from the aforementioned frames to a body that has morphed to resemble a human tick, given birth, endured dry spells that stretched way beyond allowable let alone desirable limits-- not to mention boobs that suddenly remsembled dripping pizza dough at the right wrong angles. oh hell no i wasn't getting naked in front of the kids who had no ideas about gravity and how each birthday knocks your skin's elasticity down a notch. i am no botox queen but i know when to keep my shit on! and granted, it was the girls that set the balance, were i the only female there- how the boys' look has no bearing- they are for the most part- the younguns anyway, in no great shape themselves, too young to have any kind of perceptive handle on the fact that life is harder when you take shit care of yourself. back to the point- there were other female figures along, none of them getting naked or sharing their wobbly bits- i sure wasn't gonna debut as the stretched and striped older lady...jesus chrysler ia m nearly twice their age!
***this prologue written months later***
i went back to the same beach by myself. it is a clothing optional beach. i have since lost a lot of weight, the relationship with the friend formerly known as my date has all but disolved into something unremarkable for the good of all involved-- and the freedom of a borderline sweltering day at the ocean in late October with little more than a journal to write in-- was one of the most liberating days i have enjoyed this year. far too infrequent are the days that find me as free as a leaf in a breeze-- time and space where the thought to watch my back is so wildly inappropriate as to evaporate all together. and topless on a Bay Area beach! i ventured to the right of the cliff descending staircase and settled between two clusters of gay men. i wrote, they cheered me on in my black sand walkabout. a good time was had by all and i felt so good. so good.
9 months ago