Friday night, DF and I have been out to dinner at an Indian restaurant and have returned to my place to relax and get to bed earlier. She has to work in the morning. As usual, we immediately disrobe as we walk through the door. We get out a manual and begin to learn about the camera that she has just bought, today. Her point and shoot had died on a Sonoita/ Huachuca trip. She got a smokin’ deal on an intricate, but more high-end camera. She is heading to Georgia next week for her mother’s 90th B-day, an important family event and pictures are important to her. She needs to learn how to operate what is not her old simple point and shoot.
There is a full moon, an auspicious blue one at that. She begins shooting the moon with the telephoto zoom and discovers an incredible shot.The new camera is going to be fun.
Then a young tarantula crawls across the patio, she is inspired by the flash, close-up modes, dark settings, etc. It is getting late, but I suggest that we take a walk out the driveway and enjoy the moon and try just a little more photographic exploration. I grab a flashlight to clarify the shadowy places that we might step. Critters like those safe places in the shadows. We don’t want to step on dangerous critters.
We find a dark rope like thing, snaking across the driveway. Upon closer inspection, it is a trail of busy ants. She does some flash close-ups. She begins to work with the flash and settings on different saguaros at different distances, as we look for things in various situations to shoot.
One thing leads to another. We find ourselves out of the driveway and down the road. We have passed the neighbor’s house who had startled us, last year. As that story goes, one night, we were wandering nude into the neighborhood off property, an unusual occurrence. As we walked past a patio wall, we heard someone. Startled, we made a quick walk back, heading home without acknowledging who we were. This is not a place where strangers wander. They figured that it was us, or the other neighbors out for a walk. Later, when I identified it as us, we were asked why we hadn’t said, “hi”.
I confessed that we weren’t clothed, just enjoying a nude stroll and having fun and certainly not expecting anyone. We knew that they are just not in the habit of being out at night like that. We were surprised, too. They were kind of stunned. Taking nude walks just was something they would never conceive. They thought it kinda funny, and assumed our embarrassment.
They accept that we are eccentric and some kind of nudists, now. I’m not sure that they yet understand how we could have no embarrassment. We have been friends for years, but are now a bit more colorful to them.
We continue, discussing that we haven’t been this far into the neighborhood, walking nude.
As we go along, we work on different poses with the moonlight behind my body, with flash, without flash, etc. We try placing me in the middle of the road. We are getting both horrible results and good, but we are getting a better sense of what this fine camera can do and how to do it.
My notion of high end equipment ended in the 1980’s with my Nikkormat. Thirty years of technology later…whew!
It is quiet, bright and we sense no fear of being caught nude. I comment that the temperature is perfect, and I mean perfect. We realize that we are now on a nice nude walk.
We spontaneously continue on, enjoying the wonderful, no incredible, evening in the brightly lit lush desert, watching stars and moon come out and disappear in the clouds.
I comment that we could hear vehicles coming for quite a distance, but there is nowhere to hide. “You do realize that if someone comes by, we are just plain caught,” I say. We both concur an attitude of, “Oh well, we’ll deal with that IF someone comes by.” It sounds pretty brazen, but this is my neighborhood and most of the neighbors move out here for freedom to do as they please, themselves. It would be doubtful if they would call authorities for neighbors minding our own business and getting caught out naked. It couldn’t be construed as an exhibition. There just aren’t that many people out here for an exhibitionist. Any reasonable person would see just a couple caught naked. This could be seen as perhaps a bit reckless, but out here on a quiet evening, is it really? I am acquainted with all of the neighbors, except a couple of the newbies, because of the campaign to establish our town, for just those reasons of freedom and also, to protect the desert habitat. I also know them from neighborhood parties…Well, you see, it seems to be a good idea at the time.
We have passed about ten homes and a third or half mile when we see lights on at a house in the distance. This house belongs to the couple who have continuously stopped by my place without calling first. The ones that we had finally decided to greet and invite them in as we were, nude. They kept saying that they had no problem with it. She has told us that she is often not dressed at home. It just so happened, that when we got home from dinner this evening, we discovered that they had slipped an invitation to their 24th annual neighborhood party into my door. They had missed catching us nude THIS time. We laughed that they had probably realized that they had missed the show this year. Looking up at a window, I see movement. We decide to pay them a visit and RSVP.
As we walk around their van in their driveway and up the stairs, DF is giggling, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” We feel like a couple of kids in mischief. Up on the porch, I look through the glass door, see him and knock. For once, he was the one who jumps startled.
He tries very hard to act as if things are normal, nothing unusual that his neighbors have dropped in from a stroll to say, “hi.” He works hard to ignore that we are standing there completely naked. She is in bed asleep. We more quietly hang out on the porch, pleasantly checking the sky. We thank him for the invitation, talk about the party’s delay because of her health, the potential of the weather, show him the new camera and some results, as if nothing is amiss. Our nudity isn’t brought up in the conversation! I guess it would just be stating the obvious. It is now late, and we bid good-night and stroll home, even more comfortable than before.
With the still and perfect air, there are occasional temperature variations when walking through the micro-climates, the currents flowing down the washes and the highs and the lows. We are so much more in lovely awareness by being in our skin. At the last wash, we even notice the variation in the humidity here. Just being alive, just being, is so much more when nude.
We have decided to sleep outside on the bed that I built. It is a perfect evening for it. I lay there next to a sleeping DF, awake, watching the stars and moon. I walk out the drive to mark my territory, as I further enjoy this amazing world. I am probably up very late enjoying just being here.
I lay here and think of how I had experienced some of my idea of a more perfect world this night. Just to walk about in touch and amazed by the moment, traveling over to a friend’s home, being invited in, accepted and being company, nude. Getting past the giggling and the lack of conventional trimmings and the sense of the unusual, there we were. Sleep is peaceful.
ENOUNTER with a VOYEUR!
DF gets up early and tries some more experimentation.
Daylight is less challenging.
Soon, she is off to work. I sleep a tad more and just lay there in the peaceful morning. I kick off the covers. I listened to birds. I watch butterflies and a hummingbird. The sun creeps up in the sky and becomes warmer.
I decide to go in the house. As I approach my front door, I see a large bobcat lying in the shade of a bush. It is maybe 12 feet from the door. It has been watching me, not 25ft. from the bed. I don’t know if it has been lying with me, stalking me, or waiting to see if I have a pet around for it to eat. Could he have been mistaking my early arousal as a pup in my lap, ignoring me while looking for other prey, or what? I go through the door, as it casually gets up and walks away. I jump at DF’s new camera on the dining table and come back to find the cat lost into the thick monsoon brush. I don’t want to discourage it from visiting by chasing it with a camera. Hopefully it is after the neighbor’s cat, or is resting after the meal. Nothing against the cat, but it has been killing the birds and lizards that I adore and watch and pleasantly study. Climbing a rock, looking for a photo of the bobcat, I see a lone bunny hop away over by the bed. Maybe a lucky bunny this time.
Another neighbor: The skin that the critter left in the bushes, not five feet from the outdoor bed. The empty skin is about 5 ½ feet long. It’s not a rattler, not poisonous and so welcome… if it stays out of my bed. I can imagine wiggling my toes under the sheets and becoming mistaken for a tasty packrat!