July 14, 2011

Mysterious Naked Man

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I’d been hiking for hours. I’d lost track of the familiar landmarks that I used to know so well and wandered into a forest I’d never seen before. When finally, I came to a clearing, I scanned the horizon eagerly, hoping to find a way back to camp. That’s when I saw him.

He sat cross-legged in the sun, stretching his arms first this way and then that, in a series of deliberate poses that looked like taekwondo. He was tanned and fit, like someone who has spent his life outside. He was naked.

I sat down quietly and held my breath. He didn’t see me. He wore a mat of moss on his head. A disguise, perhaps? A garment to protect him from the sun? I thought of how moss was used during World War II for bandages: perhaps he’d had a head injury. That would explain his slow movements.

I’d just finished reading a novel about a hermit, and I’d wondered if they still existed. This man looked like he’d been living on the land for years, maybe decades. I wondered what it would be like to live silently, alone, with only the flora and fauna of the woods to keep you company.

When he heard the click of my camera, the hermit looked in my direction but said not a word. He finished his stretches, moving slowly and deliberately, then disappeared into the woods in silence, carrying with him whatever stories he absorbed from the land.

(Readers who want to know the history of the naked photo tradition can check it out here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. )

15 comments:

jo(e) said...

Or maybe it was Tie-Dye Brother-in-law without his tie-dye on ....

But no one will ever know. The photographer is sworn to secrecy.

liz said...

You. You are made of high quality awesome.

Songbird said...

Either way, it's a great story.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the hermit!!

BrightenedBoy said...

Ha! I thought this was a sham!

It's a pretty cool story, though.

Urban Sophisticate Sister said...

Ahem! Now this is poetic license if I've ever seen it....(although as Songbird says, it's still a great story!)

jo(e) said...

ha! I'm a writer, not a journalist.

YourFireAnt said...

Your brother in law again?

Cindy said...

Another male model! Summer time apparently makes men brave.

Magpie said...

the moss on the head! so funny.

i love your various explanations, though i like thinking that he was just a random happen-upon.

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!!

ST

Amber said...

Ha!! I was wondering! But before I read the comments, I thought, "Well, if anyone is going to happen upon a naked person in the woods, it would be jo(e)!"

Lilian said...

I hadn't read the comments and felt very "relieved" when I read your tweet about this post... oh boy... I bet it was tons of fun to write it. and I LOVE moss! Too bad it will make us be suspicious of all future naked people posts. ;)

Krishnan said...

No female models for a while? :) Ths naked pic is great. Keep going! :)

Jeff said...

Perhaps the moss keeps his head cooler. I know my bald head could use some protection from the sun. :)