The Most Revealing Part

Can you imagine a clothes-free or clothing-optional university? Here’s a sample from Co-ed Naked Philosophy, and it’s not the same as the free download sample at Smashwords!
In this passage, the student group Corporal Rights Movement (CRM) has organized a rally on the campus of Gulf Coast University:
The Most Revealing Part
Bodies in various stages of skin exposure began to populate the Humanities Building courtyard on a comfortably warm evening in February. The courtyard was the most appropriate and convenient venue for the Corporal Rights Movement’s first rally. Drs. Ross and Saucedo and many of their students attended, along with Jaime Castellón Reyes, a ready-to-retire Spanish Republican exile whose decades of teaching the literature and culture of Spain to American students led him to remark to his colleagues: “These students, most of them, they don’t know how to reeeead, they don’t know how to eeeeeat, even, they don’t know how to live life. They are too buttoned up. We need to shake them out.”
“Shake them up, Jaime,” Christopher corrected. “Prepositions are so very arbitrary.”
“Yeees, shake them, how do you say it, all over the plaaaaaace,” and with that he began to waggle his ungainly orangutan frame: bald pate and prominent forehead, Roman nose, heavy jowls, spare chest, mid-size paunch, gangly arms and legs, fallen buttocks, and a hairless, rather long, uncircumcised penis that swung around quite shamelessly. 
The CRMers had announced the rally, both on campus and off, as a public information meeting, with brochures, posters, rows of chairs, and extra towels just in case. As the CRM president, Daphne introduced the featured speaker, Dr. Saucedo. In the presence of approximately thirty people, Dr. Saucedo stood nude at a podium and began her remarks: “Social nudity is like learning to walk.” Her audience began to pay attention as she continued.
“Have you ever seen a baby learning to take its first steps, or even just to stand up on its own? Sometimes, what happens is that the baby will stand up and not even realize how different or important that is, until someone gasps and yells, ‘Look, the baby’s standing up!’ Then, of course, the baby is startled, and immediately sits down or falls down. If you interrupt a new behavior as it’s developing, as it’s being learned, sometimes even if you interrupt for the purpose of encouragement, you risk ruining that new behavior. 
“What I’m saying is that a new behavior often just happens naturally, and we only become conscious of it if others are surprised by it. Children don’t understand why they have to wear clothes, especially around the house or at the pool or beach. They only learn that running around naked is ‘bad’ if adults or older kids tell them that. So the first time you go nude socially as an adult, or even as a teenager, you feel uncomfortable, self-conscious. You have to unlearn all the cultural phobias about nudity. But once you get used to it, there you go: you’ve learned a new behavior, like riding a bike or playing the piano, that from now on comes naturally to you and even becomes a part of your body memory, your repertoire of corporeal acts…”
As Angela spoke, a growing group of fully clothed protestors began to assemble, standing to one side of her audience. They wore black t-shirts with the letters CLGFC in white over a white cross. After it seemed that enough of them had arrived—about a dozen, young and old—they began chanting, gaining force and volume with each iteration: “Nude is crude! Nude is lewd! God says get a new attitude!” 
The slogan bluntly and efficiently drowned out Dr. Saucedo’s speech. She stopped talking. At that moment, a man from the back of the black-shirted group raised his arms over his head. He held a three-foot white cross. His eyes were closed.
“My children, Children of the Lord our God Fundamentalist Congregation, let us pray that these sinners before us can find the way to God’s forgiveness. Let us pray that here, in this house of secular education, they forget not the lesson of Adam, the lesson of Eve, whose disobedience of God’s holy command brought upon us the sin and the shame of nakedness.”
“Good show!” Dr. Ross rose to his feet, clapping. “I recognize you, Brother Sean, you would-be exorciser of nude beach demons. What I hope for you and your herd is to realize that what you wear, or don’t wear, is no more a condition for sinfulness than for holiness. The Old Testament God recognized Adam’s and Eve’s new self-knowledge by making their coverings for them himself. But, being vengeful, he kicked them out of the garden…”
“And God made us in his image, did he not?” Angela interrupted from the podium. “There is no shame inherent in nudity. If you, as the shepherd of your flock—what is it, CDEFG?—if you say nudity is shameful, then I don’t know what you’re doing here. Look around—are we breaking any of the ten commandments?”
Sean had not opened his eyes, but he was smiling with lips sealed.
“I know not the nature of your sins, and I remain ignorant of them. My eyes are closed, my body is clothed. 
“I know not of your disdain for the Word of God. My eyes are closed, my body is clothed.
“I know not the desire of your sex. My eyes are closed, my body is clothed.”
His followers shut their eyes and joined in on the refrain.
“I know not your temptations of the flesh. My eyes are closed, my body is clothed.
“I know not the wantonness of your spirit. My eyes are closed, my body is clothed.”
“And your mind!” Christopher yelled over the chanting. “Obviously your mind is closed too!”
“I know not the color of your lust. My eyes are closed…”
¡Basta!” shouted Dr. Castellón-Reyes from his chair, “¡Basta!” The Spanish professor continued his call until the confused protestors desisted. 
“Whyyy do you disturb us with this mindless mumbling of mutterings? And whyyyy are you afraid to loooook, not at the color of lust buuuut, uuuuuuuuuh, the colors of liiiiife. We have what is called the riiiight to peaceful assembly. You have what is called the riiiight to protest. But, you have made your point, uuuuh, such as it is. Let us contiiiiinue to hear the inestimable Dr. Saucedo’s conference on learning new behaviors. I assure you, padre, that you will beeee, uuuuuhh, illuuuuuminated.”
Daphne and Terrence smiled. Renee and Lisa giggled. Alex laughed. Soon there was general mirth, from which Greg called, “Please continue, Dr. Saucedo! You were on the part about getting over cultural phobias to nudity!”
As Angela arranged her notes, her audience stood up too, and some moved over, closer to the uniformed congregation. 
But this was too much. Without warning, one of the protestors in front threw a stick, which scraped Angela’s arm before landing on Christopher’s toes. Angela turned angrily to face their assailant. She avoided words for as long as possible, her icy gaze cooling. Christopher also watched the stick-thrower, whose companions were urging him to leave but who would not move, as if he had been turned to stone by the stare of a medusa. 
Finally Angela addressed him loudly: “Please don’t throw things at us. We are unarmed. WE ARE NAKED. You gonna throw something at me you gotta take your clothes off first.” 
When Christopher and the rest of the group laughed, the young man snapped. He threw his black t-shirt over his head in an instant. His pants were halfway down before he realized what he was doing. “Hocker cool it, you’re crazy” from one of his companions as the stick-thrower stood up straight, bare-chested and with his pants around his knees, staring at Angela and the group. The courtyard kept still.
Paul Hocker, angry but helpless, turned and grimaced at the other protestors. Then he kicked off his shoes. A seagull called out as he pushed his briefs and pants off together. For a moment he just stood, naked and alone, staring into the sunset. 
When he finally moved, walking slowly into the CRM group, a cheer sprung from the nudists in the courtyard. Angela and Christopher hugged him. Brother Sean’s congregation dispersed, disgusted by this betrayal, but some of the other bystanders disrobed on Paul’s example. Immersed in a sea of welcoming skin, Paul learned that the most daring and the most revealing part of himself that he had exposed was not between his legs, but between his lips: his teeth, bared by his just-born smile.

2 thoughts on “The Most Revealing Part

  1. Thanks for your comment. Hang-ups about nudity can be avoided from childhood on, if there are abundant positive examples from family, friends and media of how to live life naturally. Seems so simple…

    Like

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