Near Samhain, A Dozen Past:
I’m wrestling with an old memory, from early on in our relationship. DF and I had a bet, or some kind of an arrangement together, that had DF obliged to do whatever I came up with. I can’t remember how that came about. I wish I could, because it worked out pretty well.
I wanted to create a thrill for her, something that she probably wouldn’t do otherwise, a stretch. Out of the air and out of the box, I dreamed up this escapade.
We each have calf length dark woolen cloaks, like the medieval days. Out on a peninsula, along the Rillito River Park, there is a henge. It works; the Solstice light comes through a hole in a monument and beams across the circle to another. It creeps up and aligns perfectly with another hole each solstice. In the bronze plaque marked center of this perfectly laid out astronomical, astrological toy, it is so perfect that the sound distorts.
The asphalt jogging trail runs around it approximately 40 ft. away.
I instructed DF that we would be leaving wearing only these two ghoulish capes and dark shoes. She had no idea what I had in store. This was about trust…somehow.
I drove us to a convenience store at the corner of a busy intersection, along River Road and parked off to the side. We got out, crossed the parking lot and proceeded down the sidewalk of the road toward the river. It felt indeed strange to be walking publicly in this garb, but naked underneath felt…well, naked. There was a chill to the air, but these capes work great. They’re warm.
We crossed the road at the bridge and took the trail into the darkness. There was about a half-moon light, just enough to see and know the shadows. The cloaks were warm, but when opened up the cold night air gave a sensual contrast. They floated behind us as we strolled down the riverside walkway.
Here we were, cavorting in as nude a condition as one would enjoy on a cold night in an urban park. It felt fun, but DF was a bit nervous. She held the question, “What else does he have in mind?”
We arrived at the henge. I popped up with pagan lore, and threateningly teased to do the Great Rite. DF was being a good sport, but still attempting to wrap her head around what was actually going on, “What’s the Great Rite?”
I led her on and laid us down in the center of the circle, a warm cloak under us and one over us. There was giggling between us with the strange echo vibration that warps sound there.
Suddenly we heard voices, a pair of walkers on the trail. We stayed still in the night, wondering if our dark cloaks would blend in, if the couple might stop by, how would they react to two ghouls rising up before them in the night at the spooky ‘ol henge. Or, how they might react to two ghouls laid one on top of the other.
They passed. We continued. A bicycle zipped by.
We got naked. We had a little dance, a walk around. We stood, surrounded by the circle of edifices, to look up at the night sky and stars . We discussed and agreed; it all felt a bit crazy. We also agreed that we were having fun.
There was a concern in the back of our heads, “Cripe, what if we bump into someone we know at the store?” Well, we had the extensive cloak’s hoods covering our faces. “What would the police do?” We weren’t breaking any laws, but were certainly suspicious, if not, bizarre.
We got home feeling loosened up, with some sense of liberation and accomplishment, I suppose. Abandonment in the face of risk tends to bring home a sense of having had an adventure. Home is safe.
DF still quizzed me, “Where did that come from?”
I had no idea.