“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Yesterday was Number Three Son’s first day of public high school. Like his brothers, he was homeschooled for the first eight years (oh my, the poor barefoot, sheltered, undersocialized, top-buttoned-up little thing!) and now we’re turning throwing him into the deep end of the pool. Sink or swim, son. That’s life.
He woke up considerably earlier than usual yesterday and made the necessary ablutions and preparations (including turning on the early edition of Sports Center). I asked him how he had slept the night before.
“Not very well at all,” he replied.
“Why not?” I asked.
“I kept having this dream. Every time the bell would ring and we would change classes, I would be standing in the hall buck naked and everybody else would have their clothes on.”
Ah yes. There is appointed unto man a time to be born, a time to die, and, in between, about a gazillion times to dream The Naked Dream. Last year, it was me dreaming the psychadelic stuff, and now it was his turn.
So far, I’ve been naked on a plane, on a train, at work, in a lecture hall in front of several hundred of my professional peers, during a piano recital when I was 10-years-old, in church delivering the communion talk, on the soccer field, running down the street in my Nike Air Max trainers, on top of Mt. Everest (with no supplemental oxygen!), taking National Board exams and roller blading down the street in front of my house.
Shoot, I’ve even had a few dreams where I was supposed to be naked but was standing there fully clothed! Talk about adding insult to injury.
As far as interpreting The Naked Dream, it’s pretty much Freud 101. Anytime we feel anxious and inadequate, fearing that we don’t have “the right stuff” to accomplish a certain difficult task, off come the clothes. I explained that to Number Three Son and told him that dreaming The Naked Dream was to be expected in this situation and that everybody does it.
I went on to tell him that as we gain experience and competence, articles of clothing gradually start to be added back on: first the socks (not much better), then the boxers or briefs (about the same as swim trunks, really), next the shirt (actually pretty cool–think Tom Cruise in Risky Business) and finally those blessed blue jeans.
Of course, you and I both know that last part’s not true, but I’m his father and I had to say something reassuring–that’s my job.
I’m pretty sure The Naked Dream is hardwired into our collective subconsciousness considering that everybody seems to dream it–a lot. Maybe it has something to do with that little “incident” which supposedly took place in The Garden a few hundred generations back.
Whatever the case, I hear tell that another day is dawning when we will return to our primeval nonchalance and walk around around–buck naked–using some kind of new body which (and may this be true!) will not respond so willingly to the relentless tug of gravity and won’t snap, crackle and pop when we get out of bed in the morning.
I know, I know, in this day and age, it sounds like a long shot. But hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?