So about a year into my residency with The Roommates, I was nearly done with my masters degree and got a new job that paid reasonably well. I desperately needed a car and went to some car lots to see what I could get. I ended up buying a used PT Cruiser that was burgundy with fake wood panels and a sunroof. Also, it had darkly tinted windows. As the car salesman drove it up their back parking area to the front of the dealership I noticed that I could barely see him in there and my first thought was: I could drive naked in that thing!
After I bought it and drove it back to The House and showed it to The Roommates everyone came to the same conclusion and began egging me on.
And so, that very first day that I brought home the car, I took my first naked drive. The House had a freestanding one-car garage, but it was perpetually occupied by an ancient sports car one of the Homeowners planned to fix up one of these days. As I write this, I have been an off-again/on-again resident of this house for 10 years and during that time no one has ever attempted to drive or repair that car. Just sayin’.
Since the garage was perpetually unavailable for actual operational automobiles, those were parked on a weed-grown bricked-in area beside the garage off of an alley. Although The House was surrounded by skyscrapers it still had a little outdoor privacy because of an ancient network of arbors laden with tree-like wisteria. So it was possible for me to walk naked from the back porch to my car and get in as The Roommates cheered me on.
So that afternoon, I walked naked and barefoot, carrying only my cell phone, from the house to my car and got in, the seat nice and cold against my butt (I love that moment). That first drive several of the roommates followed in another car as I drove down the little alley and into the city streets.
We live pretty close to the center of downtown, and even when you drive in the opposite direction it is a very busy place with traffic and people on bikes and pedestrians and tall buildings. Intellectually, I knew that no one could see me, but from my point of view looking out, it felt like I was very visible.
Nothing much happened that is worth writing about. I just drove around a little and worked my way back to the house where I got out of my car and sauntered up to the back porch as the others applauded.
For my next nude driving experience I wanted to take a trip without another car escorting me — though of course the roommates were diligently “on call” to come to my rescue if need be. I wore sandals this time, and brought a small purse. I also had a destination, a lunchtime visit to one of the honorary roommates who lives out in the burbs with a husband and two kids. It’s about a 20-minute drive, including congested spots when cars are jammed close together barely moving. I felt so exposed sitting there, the sun bright on my skin, but no one looked at me because to them I was just a vaguely humanoid shadow.
My friend, of course, was in on the arrangements so she left her garage door open so I could drive right in to the spot where her husband normally parks. She was supposed to shut the garage door after I pulled in, but she forgot that part so as I got out of my car I was briefly exposed to potential passers-by. And then we. . . simply had lunch in her kitchen and chatted. I stayed for an hour or so and then I left — first phoning my rescue crew to let them know I was in motion.
Again, nothing spectacular “happened” and yet the thrill I felt was like being on the best drug possible. And like a drug, it was addictive — if only in the way that, say, chocolate is addictive. So in the next several weeks I had many little trips to friends’ houses. Meanwhile, of course, autumn turned to winter. The leaves were completely gone and the temperature not much above freezing, but I did not wear a coat nor anything at all, except warmer shoes and sometimes a hat.
I was in a monthly book club that met at a different person’s house each time and I went to one of the meetings nude, just carrying my book. Another time, I helped out a friend who was an insurance agent and was having a bunch of records digitized so she needed someone to just go through them all removing the paper clips and staples. Her office was in one of those “industrial park” areas in the suburbs, but it was like a ghost town on Sundays. So I was able to just drive right up, park in the lot in front and saunter from my car to her office door as if going to my regular job naked.
This would, I suppose, be a more interesting story if something finally went wrong and I ran out of gas or had a flat tire or something. But nothing like that happened and most of the time I went completely unnoticed – except a couple times.
While I was coming back from one of these little visits, one of the roommates called to tell me that one of the other roommates needed a ride home from work and I eagerly accepted the request to pick her up because now I had a mission — a task to be performed naked. The workplace in question was in the heart of the city awash in people getting off work and/or going someplace to eat or drink. She was waiting on the sidewalk and I pulled up in front.
When she opened the door, though, she took her sweet time getting in and just stood there for several seconds with the passenger door completely open. There were probably a dozen people standing right there waiting for the crosswalk signal to change. One by one they began to notice me, nudging each other until they were all staring as my friend finally managed to get in and close the door.