This is not a tribute to Winston Groom and his famous creation, Forrest Gump. This is an admission that when I have had very little sleep and lots of worry lines on my brow, I often do remarkably stupid things.
And sometimes, doing something monumentally stupid makes me feel better. You know, more a part of the stupid, meaningless, and goofy world around me. So, what stupid thing did I do? I joined a nudist organization’s website. Me, who freaks out when members of my own family happen to see me naked. And, you see, there is more to joining this organization than just signing up for some random thing on the internet where you get a lot of random emails. I had to submit nude photos of myself to be posted in community forums. And I may be able to write a blog for this website, which will mean taking some camping gear and actually going to the naturist club site near Dallas to experience the things I will be writing about… and probably making jokes about. But don’t be afraid of being subjected to the hideous torture of having to see me naked. In order to see any of that, you would have to join the organization yourself, and you are probably not as stupid as me. (But I am not telling you the name of the website anyway.)
You see, I have some real life experiences with nudists before this happened. I had a roommate in grad school who liked to go au naturel, and even was comfortable with me being in the room when his girlfriend was visiting. He was nude in the kitchen one time when my grandparents came to visit. It is a good thing my grandfather entered that room ahead of my grandmother. I also had a girlfriend in the eighties who had a sister living in the clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin, Texas. Every time we visited Austin, the city nearest where my parents lived, she would stay with her sister there and I would have to go in to fetch her whenever we had plans. Sometimes I was there just to visit. But always, since clothing was optional, I took that option. I did get used to being around naked people, though. I actually have nudist friends.
So, though I am not a nudist, I guess I already know a lot about how to be one. It is how I managed to stumble into this awkward arrangement.
I know I will never be able to get my wife to go along on this harrowing adventure. She refuses to even consider going nude in the house. She has to wear clothes to bed even though studies say that sleeping nude is good for you. I will be facing this basically naked and alone. And possible paid writing work will never make this worth it by itself.
But my photos are already posted and approved. My membership is a real thing. And I am not ready to shoot myself for this stupid decision. In fact, I will probably be less naked there than I have been here in this very blog where my every secret is laid bare and made fun of on a daily basis.