During this month, my second January composing this site, ReNude Pride, my thoughts turned to an observation that a fellow bare practitioner and good friend once shared with me: “When in doubt, get naked. If he objects to it, he’ll walk away from you. If he strongly objects, he’ll run away from you. If he accepts it, he’ll sit with you. If he’s comfortable with it, he’ll get naked with you.” And that is exactly how my good friend and I initially met one another.
My friend, Curtis Anderson and I first met on a May Saturday at a local park. This was in 2002. I’d watched him walk several laps around the park while I was there reading. I’d smiled at him and waved and he returned the gesture. I got up from my seat to get a soda and when I returned, he was seated across from me, completely bare. His running shorts and sleeveless T-shirt were on the seat beside him.
At first glance, I thought to myself: “Was he naked the entire time I was watching him and I simply didn’t notice?” Usually, I am very attuned to such details and honestly couldn’t believe that I, a man who really doesn’t miss a chance to be clothes-free, missed something as obvious as his nudity. Was I losing my perspective of the world? “Was I losing my mind?”
Curtis began talking to me. I indicated to him that I am Deaf and walked over to where I had been sitting, grabbed my notebook and pen and scribbled him an introduction and, as a matter of solidarity, promptly removed my sleeveless shirt and shorts. Now I was just as bare as he was. He laughed, shook his head and began to applaud. A new friendship was born! We passed my notebook and pen back and forth between us for several hours.
The quote from Curtis that I used in the first paragraph of this post is why I thought about him when I saw this gif scene on my tumblr.com site. My mental thought when I realized that he was totally bare in the park triggered that memory. came back to haunt me as I browsed the gif sequence.
As I had questioned my sanity when I finally recognized that Curtis was naked in a public park, my line of thinking immediately progressed to “how attuned are we to our immediate surroundings?” Am I, as a bare practitioner (naturist, nudist) so accustomed to seeing other people nude that I fail to comprehend it in my everyday life? If the reality doesn’t register with me, what about others?
How much do we fail to really see in our daily lives? Do any of us take the time to look around us and observe not only our physical environment but others who are around us? Often, we are so involved in our own private world that we sometimes fail to recognize when something extraordinary happens no matter how physically close (proximity-wise) we are to what’s happening.
Very similar, in fact, to the situation in the above images. Both men are in the same room yet remain oblivious to one another and their evolving clothing status. One adds more while the other removes more. Of course, they’re both the same man except for the eyeglasses. They just don’t acknowledge the other nor their reverse nudity.
Very much like my confusion when I first noticed Curtis’ nakedness the first time that we met. In the event that anyone is wondering, yes, we are still friends to this day. As it turns out, he went to secondary school with Aaron’s older brother! Small world!