As someone who loves to be nude just about anywhere, it’s important that my home be something like Nude Central. On days when I can’t be nude anywhere else, home is at least my nude haven. But since July I’ve been in the process of moving from one residence to another in my same city (long story), which reminds me of the origin of “haunt” in old words for “home” and “a place frequented.” I’ve had to say goodbye to some of my favorite “haunts” where I enjoyed being at home in my body, aka nude.
At my former house there’s a deck overlooking the back yard and the forest beyond. The deck was a terrific spot for nude sunbathing, stargazing, and s’more making because, even though there was no fence, the shrubbery around the edges of the yard blocked most views of the area. I will miss greeting the day with naked coffee on the deck, and taking leave of the day naked while watching the moon and listening to the wildlife – owls, frogs, even foxes.
There’s been an intermediate haunt this summer and fall – a furnished townhouse that has served as a convenient pied-à-terre. It has a tiny balcony overlooking the river. This balcony, barely fitting two chairs and a small table, has been a great place to kick up my feet and sit nude with a beer in the evenings, with a towel discreetly covering the side of the chair that can be seen from the street. And if I went skinny dipping in the apartment complex pool at 1:00 AM on a hot night in early August, well, all the better. It was a haunting immersion.
And now my family and I have moved into a new residence in a more densely populated area of the city. Yet this new back yard has a privacy fence on all sides and, as of this writing, there are no neighbors living in the homes on either side. Three houses in a row, and mine, in the middle, is the only “haunted” house, haunted by yours truly and family – the rest of the houses aren’t haunted at all, just empty! I’m looking forward to hosting nude yard parties once the weather turns warm again. In the meantime it’s exhilarating to step out the back door on chilly autumn mornings for a few sips of fresh hot coffee in the nude.
I’ve been joking with a faraway friend that since we see each other so seldom, it’s as if we are just ghosts haunting each other through emails or texts. But truly haunting, I think, is being fully present, unforgettably and intimately present to the fullest extent possible. In other words, a ghost might wear a sheet, but to really haunt you’ve got be naked!