I wanted to write a story. So I needed a subject and a bunch of words. I'd go over to the computer, sit and magically release these words through my fingers into the keyboard, passing them through the hard drive, and out on the screen in order to make a story. I don't have that here. So you think I'm writing a story about not writing a story, and that's my gimmick. That's not a bad idea for a story, but that's not the one I'm telling today.
You see, I set down a certain amount of time each day to write. Sometimes I polish old stories, other times I sketch out new ideas. Today I come to you nude. As naked as the day I got caught running out to the mailbox when I was twelve, because I was too lazy and fat to put on my pants. It was a rainy day, and no one was home, and my pants were so darn tight I preferred to go about naked when alone in the house.
I saw the mailman drive up to the box in his truck and leave our day's letters, any one of which could have been an answer to my submission to Mad Magazine. Everyone had gone that Saturday, leaving me luxuriously alone with Dick Clark, a full ice box, and comic books galore to devour as well. Why should I wear my pants? I felt so comfortable in my own skin, and so tightly wound in my clothes, that I never lost a chance to practice my new religion of nudism whenever alone. I was a twelve year old nudist, and proud of it.
Not that I would ever tell anyone about it. Are you insane? I suppose, looking back that I was not an Orthodox nudist, since I would never reveal my body (even the top) to others. I was fat and unhappy. And the little bit of happiness I could gleam from life was to be able to be alone with my ice box, comic books and television, all the while nude, nude, nude. I hated the clothes that choked me. I hated the choking that clothed my essence. When the others were out of the house, I was King. And when I was King, I was naked. And I was lovely.
I had learned to love myself, even as it was changing from boy to woman to man in the context of the fat that enveloped me. Certainly my bosoms made it difficult at the country club; of which mom insisted I attend pool in the summer. But home alone, I rhapsodized in my nakedhood. With Diet Pepsi's, peanut butter sandwiches, comic books, and unlimited television in my bedroom, I was the ruler of a vast universe; my naked self. Whom God had blessed with a forgiving bent. With no clothes to constrain me, no people to look at me with disgust, and the freedom to pursue my life's work of comic book reading and television watching, I was the Nude Prince, no…King, I said King earlier, and I'm staying with that. The Nude King! I proclaimed myself, to myself. Certainly reality could interfere if I allowed myself to answer the doorbell or phone. But I ignored them both. I was the Nude King of the Naked World, and I was marvelous.
So let's make this the story. It's true and has the added benefit of being nasty because it's about my nakedness, which I'm sure you believe I should be ashamed of. And I was. But only with the prospect of others seeing my stuff. Alone, I was proud of ability to control my world, as long as others stayed out. Naked, armed with good food, comic books and television, you had better watch out. I was impenetrable. I could not be stopped.
American Bandstand came on at twelve thirty on Saturday and the girls in their tight skirts and sweaters, bumping and grinding, were looking out from the television at me thinking just how beautiful I was. I could dig it. The looks on those girls faces when I would drop my towel or perhaps just wave it in front of me and give them just the biggest thrill was worth ten million dollars. I counted it up. If I were to remain naked every Saturday afternoon for the next fifteen years and do nothing but watch American Bandstand, I would make over ten million dollars. You do the math. Running around naked was not only fun, but it was profitable.
My mother was a good cook. And there was always some leftovers still happening in the refrigerator from the previous week's dinners. Good cold meat loaf, or chicken with rice, or maybe even some steaks still nice and crisp, in a holding pattern in the box, waiting for me to come get her. On Saturday's I didn't have to worry about clothing and messing my pants trying to hide food in my pockets, as would be the normal case on a weekday. Weekdays were hard, let's face it. To stuff meat loaf or chicken in my pockets, so no one would know I was eating extra would often leave me a smelly boy. But Saturdays, alone and naked, with just my TV girls and Dick Clark looking on were different. I could take a plate, like a human being, from the cabinet, and load up on goodies to take back to my room. Who the hell cared how naked I was? Dick Clark didn't have a problem with it. My girls, licking their lips, I'll bet more for me than for my plate of delicious food were happy the way things were. No one here was going to ruin a good thing.
Except Bruce. He was my next door neighbor. Pretty fat and disgusting too, he had the distinction of being able to pick his butt and eat an orange at the same time. And we were friends. I liked Bruce and he liked me. But he didn't understand the concept of down time. And I guess that was pretty unknown to most twelve year olds in 1968. Bruce didn't realize I needed my solitude. That this was the only day when I could have the entire house to myself. The only time when I could indulge in the nude arts, eat until I exploded, and read comics on the toilet. He just couldn't understand. So when the doorbell would ring, I knew it was Bruce. Also he would shout my name loud enough so that I do believe that even my American Bandstand girls could hear him. He wanted me to come out and play.
If you are among the chosen few to have read the above paragraphs, and understood the concepts therein, you would know what I mean when I say, "play"? Why in the world would I want to play? You mean catch or watch you pick your butt, or something else really fun? Gad, man! I have an ice box full of personal food, girls on TV who can see me and feel as home with my nudity as I, and comic books enough to choke even the greediest whore. And you want me to come out and play?
Nuts. What could I do? I wasn't going to be taken away from my delights, so I did what any other all-American boy would do. I would turn the sound down on the television, eat quieter, so that my smacking sounds were held to a minimum, and hope he would go away. And come back some other day. I had a schedule to keep. I would hunch up so that even my shadow could not be seen from outside the house. I knew if I stepped on the floor the wrong way, or moved about on the bed in too fat a manner, Bruce would hear a squeak of a floorboard or the squeal of a bedspring and my entire day would be shot. If nothing else, I was polite, and if I felt Bruce or someone at the front door knew that I was in the house, I was obligated to pull my pants on, wipe the grease from my face, skip down the stairs like some dumb fairy, and breezily open the door with great expectations on my face. I would pretend that I was happy to see the interloper.
But of course I prayed, so hard and with a nod to Jesus (while staying true to my Jewish God) that I could be quiet enough so that Bruce or some other bore would give up and go away. And usually they would. And I could go back to my great Saturday life of unlimited nudity, limitless food, television so intoxicating I thought I was a God, and my wonderful solitude; where I was master of my universe and king of my castle.
Try it sometime.