Thursday, February 26, 2009

THE RECKONING

I knew the day would finally come when I couldn’t wear clothes anymore.

It was on a Monday. Like today.

I got out of the shower, as I always do, and went over to the dresser, and paused for a moment at the underwear drawer before walking downstairs and fixing myself a bowl of corn flakes with a thinly sliced banana and two teaspoons of sugar after I had already poured a small amount of milk on the corn flakes (so that the sugar wouldn’t get lost in the milk.)

I ate the bowl of corn flakes with no clothes on. Usually I read the paper when I eat breakfast, but I decided that it would be a better idea to spend my time making a list of all the things that I would have to do differently since I wasn’t wearing clothes anymore. I really wanted to read the newspaper because I wanted to know what was going on. Here’s the things that I was interested in:

Nothing. Frankly, I can’t think of a single thing.

Here is the list of things that I couldn’t do because I was naked:

• Answer the door (unless it was a good friend calling and I could see them through the peephole.)

• Get the morning paper (which I didn’t read today because I was working on my thoughts about being naked.)

• Water the crabapple tree (Spring is here and I should do this, I feel bad if I don’t but I am naked so there’s not much chance of me doing this I don’t think.)

• Prune the crabapple tree (Who am I kidding? If I am not watering the crabapple tree because I am naked, then I am certainly not pruning the crabapple tree when I am naked.)

• Wash the car (it’s an old car anyway so I don’t think that it would really matter to anyone, unless clean cars run better than dirty cars, and if they do, I imagine that the difference is rather marginal and certainly not enough to make me want to put clothes on.)

• Buy a new car at the new car store.


Here is the list of things that I can do even though I am naked:

• Answer the telephone (I can even use a French accent as a kind of joke.)

• Answer my email (any and all email)

• Look at the crabapple tree through the window (as long as I am an appropriate distance from the window.)

• Do some ironing (the steam feels good on my naked skin but I try to avoid spraying my groin area with spray starch because I read an article that said that this can be very painful and you should be careful not to do it by accident.)

• Dance to my Frank Sinatra records (but not near the window. Of course it doesn’t have to be Frank Sinatra. )

• Watch television by myself with the lights out (What else is new?)

• Get drunk and throw up into the kitchen sink (if I have taken too many anti-anxiety pills and drunk something highly acidic, like freshly squeezed orange juice.)

• Take a long, hot, soapy shower and wash my hair with shampoo that smells like cloves and hazelnuts. (To relax from a long day and a new outlook on life which can be both invigorating and anxiety provoking.)

Just as I was writing ‘hazelnuts’ and 'anxiety-provoking' and thinking about how delicious hazelnuts are and how soothing anti-anxiety pills can be, and I was just beginning to realize that there were so many things that I could do naked and so relatively few things that I couldn’t do because I was naked that being naked definitely won hands down and I couldn’t see any compelling reason to ever wear clothes again.

But then, suddenly, just when I was feeling so good about everything about being naked forever, the doorbell rang.

I remembered that my first rule of being naked was that I could no longer answer the doorbell, although I could look through the peephole, just to satisfy my curiosity. And so I looked through the peephole and said DRAT very loudly. Right there on the other side of my door, looking in through the peephole so that her face was distored and funny looking, was the girl of my dreams. HELLO HANDSOME! She said at the peephole, and my mind began to race. The girl I knew I was born to spend the rest of my life with was right there, and I felt as though I had known her all my life and maybe for all eternity and there she was just outside my door finally and she was waiting for me to answer it and tell me that she felt the same way and that we would be together forever for the rest of eternity! WHAT'S UP? she asked. And as I gazed at her visage, which was, truly, a very beautiful visage, I thought two things:

1) I know her face doesn’t look funny like it does through the peephole, that this was just some sort of optical illusion, and

2) I knew in my heart, as I had always known, that the most important thing in the world is to stick to your guns,

and so I stuck to my guns, my very naked guns, and walked very very quietly up the stairs so that you could barely hear me moving as I went from the stairs and into the shower and turned on the water until it was deliciously hot and I could almost smell the cloves and hazelnuts of regret drowning like tiny little rats in the steamy shower of my bathroom and also of my desire. Being naked was the first day of the rest of my life, and I was OK with that. And as I listened to the sound of the fleshy part of her fist knocking on the door again and again, I wondered what kind of life this new life would be. It would be a life that I knew could be anything, anything at all, maybe even nothing at all, but no matter what, it would absolutely and positively be one thing and that’s for sure: it would be naked, I thought to myself, naked, I said aloud, and then JUST A MINUTE, as loud as I could, over the sound of the hot, steamy shower and the water running furiously down my legs.

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