Julie, Mike, and I drove north of town for what seemed like forever. Our usual bars, clubs and concerts were south. Always south. The only thing north, we thought, were farms and cows. Rednecks. Monster truck shows.
Julie and I had almost been arrested earlier in the year at several anti-war rallies in this area. We even made other events into demonstrations.
For example, Julie and I attended a fundraiser for the governor and President of the United States. We dressed up, mingled near the entrance, all while pretending to have thick southern accents and zero common sense.
A couple of nice country boys named Bob and Luke got us in and right up front near the stage. When the honored guests arrived, we pulled out placards that said “Your war feeds the rich and buries the poor!” Julie and I both chanted, “NO WAR FOR OIL! NO WAR FOR OIL!”
We were forced to leave and a few police officers arrived, but eventually let us go.
As Mike drove through the night and the smell of cow manure permeated our atmosphere, I took a deep breath and said, “Yep. Bob and Luke live around here somewhere.”
But something else nestled in those woods amidst the animals and wide-open fields called to us that night.
Lots of them.
And Wednesday night was “Open to the Public” night.
Mike practically lived his whole life naked, so this was no big deal for him. Julie and I would be naked in front of strangers for the first time. Mike drove inside the tall, brick walls. We answered a few questions from security guards. He parked at the community’s only bar.
We took off our clothes in the parking lot, quietly, with a few nervous giggles and grabbed towels from the trunk.
Towels were required when sitting down.
Inside the bar, some women wore scarves around their waist and everyone wore jewelry, but otherwise, nothing but nakedness as far as the eye could see. I made it a point not to stare.
If there was nudist etiquette, I was convinced that had to be it.
My normal habit of locating a cute boy, dancing, finding a secluded spot, making out, then rubbing against him to experience a nice, tidy little orgasm before walking away would have to be revised.
No rubbing against naked men. That’s how babies got made.
Mike found a lot of interested women so Julie and I found a nice, hot Jacuzzi out back near the pool. Naked men acted differently than clothed men. We could see their packages, so there was no bravado. No pretending. No posturing. They made eye contact and we discussed safe sex, women’s rights, politics, dreams, life goals, and music.
My kind of night.
I took one boy’s hand and we rolled around in the grass under the stars. We laughed. We kissed. We had fun. My hymen stayed intact and no babies were made.
I don’t remember his name.
The next night, I had dinner with my parents and their friends in Ybor City. The waiter recognized me. We couldn’t figure out how we knew each other.
“Were you at the Bush rally a few months ago?” I asked. “I almost got arrested that night.”
My stepfather shook his head. The waiter thought for a moment.
“You were at Paradise Lakes last night,” he said. “That’s how I know you.”
“You look different with clothes on,” he added.
My mother ordered another glass of wine. I looked down at my oversized Public Enemy t-shirt and wondered when Mike and Julie would want to go back.