When I was twenty-seven, I moved to a small town called Tuhita. It was a bohemian town filled with hedonists, long-haired hippies, nudists and socially awkward misfits. Now, I come from a conservative background, and so, this was a change of scenery. I stood in awe as I watched people walk around naked, smoke joints and dance to the rhythm of a street drummer. I marveled when I saw people pick up hookers while the police simply looked on. I was amazed at the potbellied policemen walking with beer cans in their hands.
“Freedom! Finally!” I said to myself and reveled with the locals. They accepted me as one of their own. I ate with them, got drunk with them, dropped acid with them, laughed, and farted boisterously with them. Soon, there was a celebration of weed on ‘Weed Day,’ and I smoked fine cannabis. That night I went home with not one but two women and I had the best sex of my life.
But, nothing good lasts, and things went sour when the Mayor announced, ‘Nude Day.’ Being very shy about taking off my clothes, I protested. I told them that I couldn’t walk around nude because I had weight issues and was very sensitive about how people perceived me. “Nobody will judge you; take it off man!” said a hippie. “Yeah! Do the full Monty mate!” said another.
Possessed with anxiety, I pleaded with them. “Don’t be a fucking fruit cake! You’re ruining the experience for all of us, bastard!” yelled a nude old woman. I was terrified. I took off my shirt and covered my nipples with my hands. “No hands on your tits, fucker!” yelled the old woman, “Now drop those fucking pants!”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. All this is new to me,” I said, trembling.
“You’re a conservative fanatic!” The hippies shouted in unison.
I let out a shrill scream. “Please understand,” I sobbed.
“You come here, pretending to be one of us. We offer you our hospitality and love, and you repay it with hate. Now, take those clothes off before I have you stripped!” barked the Mayor.
“Yeah, this is about inclusiveness and respect. You’re showing disrespect to every nude person here, you know,” said the old woman.
By now, I was weeping uncontrollably. Two policemen came and stripped me. Everyone then rejoiced and loved Nude Day while I sat naked on a rock, unable to stop crying.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash