Cool autumn breeze knifes across my skin, the ragged grit of concrete sidewalks rub my soles like sandpaper and all I can do is smile as the red stop sign reflects in the glowing island cast by the streetlight. My hand smacks its cool surface, a clanging gong signaling my turn for home and the adoration of the assembled mass of friends, whose clamor smacks of Chariots of Fire...right up to the point the flashing lights round the corner, and a piercing siren scream takes over.
Which isn't all that bad, except I am naked.
The years between boy and man are tenuous, navigated like a class five rapid without a paddle, at times, caught between immature impulse and proving yourself worthy of the mantle born by your forefathers. Add a couple rowdy friends into the blender and you are left with a Molotov cocktail of foolishness, just waiting on the matchstick of pride to be struck on a best laid betcha won't and double dog dare ya'.
This is how I find myself running naked on Calhoun Street, a dark lit quiet road on the edge of town, most nights, except tonight it is my twentieth birthday, and I am just carrying on a tradition of attention craving thrill seekers.
Sometimes when you get what you are hoping for, it turns out nothing like you thought it would be.
Being naked is scary, particularly because of the reactions. Pointing and laughing does little for an already shrinking ego in the cool night air. Barely audible whispers by once thought friends, leave you wondering, and then an ambulance just happens to careen around the corner with lights flashing and siren wailing making sure the entire neighborhood is now staring out their windows at your display.
So, you run. And while bushes were great for Adam and Eve to hide behind, I imagine they were not running full speed when they attempted to dive into them. They are mildly more forgiving than if you would have tripped on the sidewalk, but both tend to leave a mark.
Don't get me wrong, there is a certain freedom to letting it all hang out, hiding nothing, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and with the right people...you never know who might be coming around the corner, catching you with your pants down.
It helps too if you really have nothing to hide...but that would require making wiser choices in the first place.
This would be such a great metaphor, if it wasn't so true...
Naked, I ran.