My Life as a Tweenage Nudist

@theo

Yeah, yeah. I’m a freak and a weirdo and I’ve got a million wires crossed inside my head. I’d touched on all of this when I’d confided in Mini this morning. There’s one thing I left out, though. “I have this…recurring nightmare about being naked at school.”

“That old chestnut?” Ernie scoffs. “Everyone has the naked-at-school dream.”

“Really?”

“As sure as the Pope plays Hacky Sack when he thinks nobody’s looking.”

“Mine’s so…detailed, though.”

“What, like Morgan Freeman’s narrating it or something?”

I take a deep breath. “No. I have this dream where I’m getting up for school one morning, and I realize that I’m suddenly…big downstairs—”

“Oh, so it’s a documentary.”

“Shut up and let me finish.”

“Just saying.”

“So, I’m suddenly, uh…abnormally large downstairs while simultaneously my mom’s had some kind of parenting breakdown. She’s convinced that her hands-off attitude is the reason I’m so uptight all the time, is why I can never sleep, and has led to me losing my eyesight through an overuse of technology and all that. She’s decided to ‘be a better mother’ by paying more attention to me, and by making our home as ‘natural and minimalistic’ as possible. No more tech, no lousy food (no biggie—we do that already), and…nudism. Her logic is that relieving the entire household of technology, toxins, inhibitions, and social stresses will help bring us back into balance as individuals and as a family. She tells me all this while standing at the foot of my bed, completely oblivious to the fact that she’s naked as a jaybird—”

“Wait, wait,” Ernie interrupts. “I’m having trouble with your imagery. Can you describe in detail your mom’s—”

In the dream,” I continue, glaring at him, “my closet and dresser have been cleared out. My clothes are gone, and my mom’s just standing there all undressed and telling me it’s time to rise and shine like nothing out of the ordinary’s going on. She holds out a folded bath towel, a pair of flip-flops, a baseball cap, a bracelet, and a necklace with some dog tags. She tells me, ‘These are your new clothes and ID, darling!’ And I’m cowering with the blanket pulled up to my chin. I’m like, ‘Why do I have to be naked? I’m perfectly happy wearing clothes!’ And Mom just ignores me, hands me my new clothes, kisses me on the forehead. ‘Oh, honey, don’t you worry! You’re going to make a wonderful nudist!’”

Ernie butts in again: “You absolutely would, what with the inches you’re packing—”

Glare. Frownie-face. “The dream changes. Suddenly I’m undressed and standing in the kitchen doorway with my hands cupped over my junk. My parents are naked and already eating breakfast, and are acting as if it’s the kind of thing they do every morning. My mom tells me to stop being such a big baby, come and eat, my food’s getting cold. So, I hurry into a chair at the table, where at least everyone’s lower halves are hidden under the tabletop. I can deal with this, right? I’ll just make sure I eat the slowest, wait for my parents to finish and leave the room before getting up again. I’m working this out in my head when my dad asks me to take the turkey out of the oven.”

“What the fuck?” Ernie asks. “Why would you be eating roast turkey at seven in the morning on a school day? Why would you be eating turkey at all? I thought you were a carrot-kisser!”

“It’s a dream, dumbass. I never said it was going to make sense.”

“Okay. Sexy naked crossfit vegetarian family having a roasted turkey for breakfast Monday morning. Go on.”

“By now my parents have caught onto my scheme,” I continue. “They’re totally finished with their breakfast, and are just sitting there now looking for an excuse to get me out of my seat. They almost seem amused at my embarrassment, and keep whispering to each other while pointing subtly at me. My dad reminds me about the turkey, but I’m fudging, saying I’ll do it in a sec when really I’m trying to figure out how to take out the turkey while keeping one hand over my crotch and/or butt at all times. In the end I get up quickly, swiveling myself around so that by the time my junk is in view, it’s facing away from the table. I walk to the oven, trying to act nonchalant as I take out the turkey, set it on the stovetop. But that’s not good enough. ‘Bring it to the table, buddy,’ Dad says. Which is, of course, impossible to do without facing him and Mom full-on. I consider sidling over, using a towel to carry the pan so that the excess cloth hangs in front of me—and I’m like, this is ridiculous. My parents don’t care what I look like below the belly button. I’m probably making a huge deal out of nothing, even though that’s kind of what they’re doing. But whatever. I take a deep breath and turn around, walk back to the table with the turkey, sit down—and there’s total and complete silence. My dad’s shell-shocked, and is bleeding from one nostril. Mom’s dazed-looking, but otherwise functional. ‘It’s okay, sweetie,’ she says, trying not to sound surprised. She waves a hand back and forth in front of my dad’s unresponsive face. ‘People come in all shapes and sizes. It’s nothing to worry about.’ But it is. I’m different. I know it. My parents know it. And now the whole world is going to know it, too.”

Ernie coos, “So melodramatic.”

“Can I finish?”

“Whatever, eight-inch.”

Ugh. I shouldn’t even bother—and yet I’ve gone this far, haven’t I? I certainly can’t make things worse by finishing. “Fast-forward to Boca Linda. It was bad enough having a bare-bottomed breakfast with my parents. I do not want to show off in front of the whole school, but there I am, getting out of my mom’s car, naked, backpacked, sweat beading on my forehead. Despite Nakers and the #SheenLife hashtag being a thing, it’s near-silence all the way up the main walk. Students and staff step aside, making way, lining up on either side of me. The only noise is the slap-slap of my flip-flops against the concrete. I can feel my junk flopping left, flopping right. I can hear the blood rushing in my ears. I can feel the breeze against my butt. I can hear people whispering to each other: ‘Is that some kind of hentai cosplay?’ ‘I heard his parents lost their jobs, and they had to sell everything—even their clothes—just to keep the bank from foreclosing on their house.’ ‘I heard they have him mining Newdcoin to help pay for rice.’ ‘What’s he wearing on his wang?’ ‘Dude, that is his wang.’ ‘Big Dick. You know, those enhancement drops like New Eyes, only for your—’”

“For your dick,” Ernie finishes. “Got it. Your crotch has mesmerized an entire city block. What happens next?”

I narrow my eyes at him. “Where’d you get the popcorn?”

He looks down at the bag of Act II in his lap, as if it’s always been there. “Leftovers.”

At least his groin is finally concealed. “Anyway, the scene skips forward again, and it’s first period. I’m standing at the head of the classroom. Everyone’s staring, open-mouthed and wide-eyed. Some are pointing, others are pulling out their phones to take pictures. Mr. Barchetta’s next to me. He says, ‘Now, now, none of that, class. Cameras away, please.’ Then he grabs me by the wrist, lifts my arm into the air. ‘Does everyone see this?’ he asks. The students nod, though none of them are looking at my bracelet. ‘This is a nudist license. It certifies that Mr. Ivanovich here may practice non-sexual public nudity as part of his anti-stress regime, as directed by his doctor and subject to the rules and guidelines of his mom’s nudist club.’

“And I’m like oh, my God, not only does everyone know my mole and pubic hair count, they also know I’m seeing a shrink. How can Mr. Barchetta be so totally oblivious? ‘Boca Linda is supportive of all races, genders, creeds, political affiliations, and lifestyle choices,’ he says. ‘Everyone is treated equally. Theo is no different than any of you.’

“‘Um, yeah he is,’ sasses this one girl.

“‘Well, even so, there’s to be no cat-calling, no ogling, taunting, or whispering under your breath. Theo is making a huge adjustment in his life, so we all need to show tolerance and support. Anyone caught harassing him will be sent to the principal’s office. Is that understood? Now…’ He hands me a piece of chalk. ‘…solve for x.’ I take the chalk and face the blackboard, and holy crap, it’s, like, a foot tall and mounted at the base of the wall! I have to bend over on all fours to write on it. I’m trying to concentrate on the complex formula that’s taking up the entire thing, but it’s hard. I can hear the other students behind me, whispering, taking pics despite Barchetta’s warning, cracking jokes at my upthrust behind’s expense. I’d been dreading doing jumping jacks during warm-up for gym class, but this…this is like when you have to give a speech in front of a room full of people, and your friends tell you to imagine everyone else naked, except you’re the one without underwear. You’re the one wearing your house key around your neck. I can’t take anymore—I do the only thing I can think of: I run away, out of Mr. Barchetta’s classroom, down the hall and into Thrill-Kill’s office. For once I’m glad she’s a chain smoker, because now I’ve got a literal smoke screen for my nakedness.

“‘Well, well,’ Thrill-Kill says, and gives me the look-over, not at all surprised by my appearance. In fact, she looks a little pleased. ‘I stand corrected, Mr. Ivanovich. My initial appraisal of you was incorrect. Puberty seems to be treating you very well.’

“I throw myself into one of her chairs. My wang flops against my thigh with an obvious wiggle, but I don’t care anymore. I’ve been robbed of every last ounce of dignity. I want to curl up and die.

“‘Enjoy the stardom while it lasts,’ Thrill-Kill chuckles as she takes out an enormous DSLR camera. ‘I’ve seen scores of penises in my time, and while yours may be precocious now, the rest of you will soon grow up around it, thereby rendering your proportions perfectly average. And the masses will forget. Now, hold still while I take your yearbook photo…’” I trail off, letting out a deep breath. “That’s pretty much it. She aims the camera at my crotch, the flash goes off, and I wake up in a cold sweat.”

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