the naked thief


Have you ever worried you’ll lose your clothes in a dressing room while begging random shoppers for an opinion on a new outfit? Or you’ll unexpectedly run out of the house when deer start eating your lawn and you’ll forget you’re naked? Or superhuman villains from another planet will land on your roof and dematerialize your PJs but leave your body for all to see?

Me neither. But when it comes to unexpectedly baring all, the imagination does run wild.

But certainly, like me, you have dreamed of being shamefully exposed, perhaps sitting at a meeting with nothing but your tiny or big parts showing, your head tucked between your knees.

Naked dreams, according to psychologists, could mean a fear of embarrassment, a sense of inferiority, or maybe a desire for attention.

Naked does tend to attract a crowd.

Well I’m glad to report I can now cross the naked fear off my list. If you need to picture how this happened, imagine a petite woman with wet hair looking like a pig in a blanket wearing a little towel crouched on the floor struggling to unlock a gym locker while her butt lifts in the air.

Not so horrible really unless it goes on for an interminably long time, which it did because Locker #350 would not open with my secret combination 911.

With dread of dashing out only in dumbbells, and after consulting a curious group of sweaty onlookers, I picked up the emergency phone in the locker room and soon my abrupt interrogation began.

Attendant who arrives: Can you please tell me what’s in this locker?

Me:  My stuff.

Her: What kind of stuff?

Me: The stuff I need to cover my unadorned body.

Her: And what would that stuff look like?

Me: (who remembers these things?)Uh, black sweatpants, a T-shirt, a white hat, and maybe sneakers. Yes, sneakers.

Satisfied, she inserts her key as I panic I’ve gotten the locker wrong and will soon be revealed as the naked thief I am. Hallelujah, my stuff is there.

Curious who would stage a prank like this, I ask the attendant if people have tried to steal this way before.

Her: Never.

Me: I know you’re trained to ask these questions but is it possible, in your wildest naked dreams, to envision a situation in which a shivering nude female would conduct a heist of lululemon tops or Nikes in this fashion?

She listens, maybe afraid I’ve gone mad and will report her.

So let me see, I continue . . . First, the cunning thief hides her own clothes, grabs a shower, conceals herself in a mildly absorbent piece of terry cloth, then lurks up and down casing the joint, waiting for the perfect moment to call security hoping they get there before the victim jogs back in.

Timing is critical, I tell her, and may require superhuman powers of transportation to also watch the second floor StairMaster.

Or, thinking one can’t play this caper more than once, I say, it would be a good idea if the first burglary pays off super well which demands superhuman vision to see if any money is inside a pocket inside the sweatshirt inside the locker inside the gym.

Still, I add to my nervous attendant, if it could by some miraculous feat be done, it could be worth it, because it could give a dull suburbanite a radical new identity and who doesn’t want that at some point in life.

I pause for a moment and consider whether I feel insulted or embarrassed or annoyed in any way. I don’t. Instead, I realize, I feel suddenly younger and stronger and bold and this shocks me more than being caught with my pants gone.

I grab my attendant, give her a big smile and thank her for making my day. Really, I tell her as I set her free, when was the last time someone implied, in even the slightest way, that I had superhuman powers?

June 6, 2018

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