Finally, the volleyball match. Not much to say, but it introduces something my daughter wanted to put in the story: the rules of cool. We get to see Julie trying to figure out what it means to be cool. Some foreshadowing for...
My life so far. Episode 2: The first visit
Letters : 12481 Words : 2348
Most of this installment was directly inspired by the recent visit of my daughter to a naturist activity for the first time in years, and from my daughter browsing our naturist magazines. I helped making it a little more coherent, but this was mostly by herself, at least, the ideas. Except for the idea to have author Julie express her opinion. That was mine.
After school, I decided to go to Mindy's place after all. I didn't have a plan, but I certainly didn't want to spend another day caught between two lives.
Because this is what this was about. I had two lives. One where I was growing up as a naturist, and another where I wasn't.
My problem wasn't that I really wanted to a naturist, it's that my parents picked for me.
Now, I am older. I am not longer 12, so I can tell you with absolute confidence, that had I grown as a naturist, I would probably hate it for not being able to live a normal life.
Why? Because my problem wasn't with naturism or with my parents. My problem was figuring out who I was.
I think most tweens go by that phase and in another life, where naturism was still present in my life, I would have probably revolted against it.
Not openly, not like, shouting matches and yelling. Just in general, I don't want to cause a fuss anymore. I just want to do the opposite of my parents.
That I was happy or not as a naturist, or right then as a textile wasn't even part of the equation.
Kids at that age, are supposed to rebel against their parents, and where boys rebel with their fists, girls sometimes rebel more subtly.
Mindy didn't undress right out the gate. Instead, we walked to her home, fully dressed. There was another student at the same school, Kyle, but despite Mindy and him being naturists living in the same resort, they weren't really friends.
"He's not a jerk or anything, but he is a year older and mostly plays video games.", she explained, later, when talking about him.
We did see a few nude adults, mostly old enough to be grandparents. Oddly enough, I didn't care.
I followed her and saw how fast she undressed. She looked at me, and I shrugged, and followed suit.
She grabbed two towels and brought me to the lake and pool area, almost pulling my arm off, with an uninterrupted flow of words about how excited she was.
We stopped at the small beach around the lake, and she pointed at the ground.
"What is that?", I said
"The picture. You and me, the sandcastle. It was right here"
"How do you know?", I ask
"I sort of reconstructed it. It might have been a foot in either direction, but if you check, we can see the pool in the background of the picture
"I guess", I said.
"The pool is heated. Want to go in?", she said, excited, but before we could go, we have to shower.
And this, was the first thing to shock me. There was a shower, near the pool, outside!
We just rinsed ourselves under it.
Today, as an adult, I laugh because, these are common everywhere at camping grounds just to rinse sand off your body. The difference, is that people in naturist centers use these to actually wash themselves.
The water was nice. Later, Mindy showed me the tubes that go on a roof and get heated by the sun, which is a nice idea. No heating bill!
Her mother, fully nude, came to fetch Mindy from the water, and was surprised to see me.
"Will you eat supper with us?" she simply said.
Mindy answered in the positive for me.
We dried ourselves and got back to her house.
Her father was home too, and while it felt weird to see him nude, I wasn't freaking out. I had seen others this afternoon.
We all sat on towels at the kitchen table, where the table was already set, and Mindy's mother put a large tuna casserole in the middle of the table.
I smiled, this was easily in my top 3 meals, but before we could eat, the family said grace. They actually thanked God for the meal, something my family never does.
I joined in, with pleasure and then, each one of us, in turn, served ourselves. I was invited to start, then Mindy, followed by her father, with the cook digging in last.
Soon, I realized I took a larger portion, but they went for seconds, and I didn't. I guess they are used to this buffet type of serving and I am not.
I did finish my plate and Mindy's mother assured me I could take more, but I was full!
Honestly, it's possibly the best I ever ate.
"You know, I gave my mother's recipe to your mother, years ago", said Mindy's mom.
This could explain the similarities, but this execution was better than my mother's.
Mindy wanted to hang out in her room after supper, so we did. I was in her house, so I followed. My parents had showed me that.
Of course, when in my house, they were my guests, so as we went into Mindy's room, I wondered, when is it my time to lead?
I almost had a stroke when I get there. I hadn't been when we first arrived, but now, it was a little too intense for me.
First, the posters. She did have a One Direction poster, like all of the girls at that moment. Wait, was it One Direction? It was whatever boy band was popular. I don't think it was BTS, that was later. It was a band, so not Bieber either.
But every other poster was a naturist one, with nude people on them. One was for a movie, an old-timey one. Another was for a naturist resort, Euronat, which apparently is in France. And no, Mindy never went, at least, she hadn't at that point.
Her bookcase had schoolbooks, including required reading, but every other books or magazine, was naturist.
She did have a photo album, mostly filled with naturist pictures.
On her mirror, were various pictures. Many had her and her friend wearing clothes, but others had her nude with other girls, including the picture of her and me, making the sandcastle. The copy of the one we have.
I looked at the rest of them.
"This one is Lily. She is in Florida. We went twice to her resort, and we still email each other"
Lily is perhaps 2 years older? In school, a 15-year-old would prefer to be dead than to be caught with a 13-year-old. Wait, Mindy was 12 too. I remember, her birthday was a week later.
So, that day, she was almost 13.
I was also presented me the other pictures. Some of them were kids who visited her on vacation, others were of kids she met while vacationing.
"That is Sally", she said, pointing to a picture. "She spends a week in my room, while I spend a week in hers, each summer"
"Our parents trade houses. We go live in their house, while they live in ours. It's weird. I spend a total of 3 weeks in her room, and her in mine, but I only saw her for like a total of maybe 8 hours, while doing the trades, you know? We do talk on the phone sometimes, but it's not like we know each other that much."
"I don't think I would be okay with a stranger living in my room", I told her
"Bah, the important stuff, like my pictures, I bring them with me."
"Still", I say, as I go to her bookcase.
"I know, I have a lot", she says, nervously laughing.
"Hey, if it's your passion" I say, dispassionately.
"Oh, let me show you one of them", she says, searching through the magazines.
But carefully picks it, and goes to sit on the bed. "I have one sealed in a comic protector, and another in my parent's room. I don't want to lose this one", she says, carefully opening the pages.
At page 17, she gives me the magazine, and I see the picture, and the title.
"Manifesto of a young naturist", and under it, is the picture of Mindy, pre-puberty.
"I was 9", she says.
"You were in a naturist magazine?"
"Yeah. I hope to be again, to do a sort of follow up"
I start to read, but it's just common bullshit about conformity and fighting the system.
The type of stuff any 9-year-old who reads any sort of dystopian fiction could write.
"No need to read it, It's mostly bullshit to get published. Well, between you and me, I did believe these things, three years ago, but now, I know it's cringe.", she says, laughing
I laugh to. "Hey, I did stupid shit when I was 9"
"I'll show you where Sally lives", she says, carefully grabbing the magazine and putting it back.
After searching, she shows up a magazine profile of the naturist resort where Sally lives.
It's further south, so the trees look different, and the houses also look different, but honestly, I failed to see the difference between that one, and this one.
There are streets with small houses, RVs, campers, cabins, and a common area with a pool or two. There are sports sections, and a big building where to shelter during a storm or play bingo or whatever in the evening.
In fact, my family had gone camping two year earlier, when I was 10, the only two differences I can see at first glance was that people were clothed at the one we went, and there were no houses.
We talked some more, but honestly, the only subjects we had, were naturism and school, and since she was a grade ahead of me, I could barely follow what she was saying.
She was already interested in boys, but back then, they were far from my radar and as such, I couldn't connect with her on that.
"Do you play badminton?", she asked
"If you can call my efforts playing"
But we borrowed her father's racquet, picked a fresh box of birdies, and went to the court. She did put her shoes, and I put mine back.
"Some play barefooted, but I don't like it", she said, as we walked.
The sun was nice on my skin.
"Shouldn't we be wearing sunscreen?"
"Oh, shit, yeah. I am used to the sun. Let's not be out too long"
But of course, I came back with a sunburn, notably on my butt, but at least, it wasn't a severe one and I planned to hide it from my parents until it healed.
Playing with Mindy was nothing like playing at school. We didn't keep score, and often, she would stop to show me techniques.
There was zero pressure for performance, zero expectations of victory and absolutely no gloating when Mindy would make a good move.
More importantly, at some point, during the match, I stopped seeing myself as the little kid playing with an older girl.
I saw us as equals, perhaps because I ended up teaching her how to do better services.
Eventually, we went back to her house and talked some more.
We showered in her backyard, using soap. I was sharing a shower with a friend, in the sun. If you have told me a week earlier, I would have called you crazy, but here I was. Accepting it.
I admit it, at that point, I was beginning to almost be brainwashed into naturism.
We spent some time in her room again, but soon, however, she was dragging me to the living room, to watch a recorded news special about naturism, with her parents joining us and the four of us talking about the report.
It was a better conversation than any I ever had with my parents. I could see it night and day. Naturist families were close and happy, and my family robbed me of that.
Instead, I had stressed out parents who yelled at me, who couldn't really talk or connect with me.
Why couldn't my mother hug me like Mindy was, later that evening, when she offered to drop me off and Mindy elected to say home?
But what caught me completely off guard is that her mother, got dressed by my side, talking to me about how I was doing in school.
As I put on my clothes, I saw an adult woman, what I couldn't wait to be, putting a bra, and panties, and well, dressing up.
It's stupid, I know, but to me, this was an intimate moment, and she was sharing me with me. Not in any weird way, but in a motherly love way.
In a way that my mother failed to be.
On the drive back, I was furious at a life stolen from me. At a possible heaven on heart robbed from my history because they were afraid I would end up having problems at school.
Had they waited, just 6 months, only 6 months, Mindy would have shown she had adapted and I might have been spared this stuffy conventional life that didn't suit me.
Don't laugh, I was twelve! I fully remember thinking along those lines.
I came home, didn't say anything to anyone, didn't even notice if anyone was in my way, and went to my bed.
My mother wished me a good night, from across the door, and I think I grumbled something back, but for the life of me, I can't remember. My mother didn't hear well enough so that even if she did remember the moment, she wouldn't be able to help.
I slept in the nude, and went to the restroom in the nude, to brush my teeth once I heard the privacy lock on my parent's door click.
They have their own little bathroom anyway, so when they lock the door, the house is mine.
In my bed, I hit my head with my hand. Damn it, they only stopped being naturists for my sake. Of course the privacy lock was because they slept in the nude, just as the lock to their basement office is probably because they work in the nude.
But I didn't go deeper in my thoughts. I just wanted to sleep, after an evening in the sun.