Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outdoor Showers

I've heard of outdoor showers before but I've never actually seen one. I assume that there are four walls but not a roof, that you can shower with the great outdoors above your head, with no one to see you but birds. You'd have the fragrance of all your blossoms right there, and all the outdoor sounds. I'll bet even traffic sounds pretty pleasurable from an outdoor shower.

Well, my friend ... uh, let's call her Sally ... has an outdoor shower and I got to see it today. It is absolutely glorious. And maybe this is how all outdoor showers are. I don't know. This is how many walls it has: ZERO. It has the same number of ceilings.

Yep. She just steps outside, strips off her clothes, and turns on the water. Can you imagine the freedom that provides?

I stood there and looked all around. The only way anyone could see her -- a neighbor out to mow his lawn, a missionary knocking on her door, someone on the street -- would be if they're in a helicopter. The hot-and-cold shower is attached to the house, with a completely private privacy fence on the other side. The other two sides are Sally's yard, but between the foliage and the setup, it's totally secure. She's as protected out there as if she were inside the house in the bathroom with sea horses on the shower curtain and a lock on the door.

I hate to have to talk about the differences between men and women, but, you know, we women never get to walk around with just a pair of shorts on, so this outdoor shower, this amazing permission to be totally naked OUTDOORS is just mind-wobbling.

I did it once a thousand years ago outside of Utica, NY. I was out in the country, walking near my trailer (yes; I know), and it just seemed like no one was around, so I took off all my clothes. I didn't actually do anything. I just stood there naked, feeling the air and sun and shadow on parts of me that never got to be outside. Then my boyfriend showed up and the rest is cliche. (My queendom for an accent mark!)

This isn't about exhibitionism, of course. I'd burst into flames if someone saw me. But it is about, well, freedom, I guess: freedom in the outdoors. Anyone can be naked inside. But outside? Whew!

I suppose the closest I ever get to it is when I'm swimming, which I haven't done in years. Water makes me feel naked even when I'm not.

But back to Sally's shower ... I'd almost be afraid of that kind of freedom. What if it felt so good that I'd never want to give it up? What if it got so that I wouldn't even put on a robe to go back into the house? What if I didn't wait till I got outside to skin off my clothes? What if I started accepting The Watchtower in the altogether? I suppose some conversions might take place.

Now here's a bit of synchronicity ... Mike and I were having a too-caloric, too-late giant wad of fat and sugar at IHOP a couple nights ago with our friends John and Janet, whose names don't have to be disguised because if they're doing anything untoward in their backyard, I don't know about it, not that Sally's behavior in her shower is anything but envy-making and goddess-given and completely rapturous. I casually mentioned that I'd love a job at home, a job I could do "in my jammies -- not that I wear pajamas."

Janet put up her stop hand and said, "Now, that's too much information!"

So now I'm wondering what she'd think of this outdoor shower blog ...

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