the thing I think I miss the most from my former life is public, casual nudity. we were generally naked in the north chestnut house, going from apartment to apartment all summer long, leaving our doors open for neighbors to simply walk in and join in whatever we were doing (often alcohol and weed, although I was known to simply dance to records--and there is a wonderful memory that most people under 45 can't appreciate, the skipping shriek a vinyl album made when your stereo, no matter how well balanced, shook from the shudder of bodies slamming the floor pellmell).
the first year of our marriage my wife and I instituted what we called "clothing optional nights" when anyone coming to our apartment (and before we were married, the apartment she shared with laura and leia and allowed me to bunk at) had the option of stripping down to watch television or eat or play a game or whatever we were doing. this was never the sexy, oily, sweaty, funky orgy you might imagine it (or I may secretly hoped it might become): it was simply a load of friends getting naked together and doing stuff and being comfortable with one another.
I think I learned this first with my parents, for whom nudity was not a big deal. it wasn't unusual for my folks to stroll the house naked, especially in summer, since we lived in the woods with no air conditioning. and then decades later when I belonged to the cult called direct centering then, where every night we ended meetings and consultations with paganistic nude dancing, clothes tossed everywhere, sweat flying, sometimes not even to music but what sound played from the slap of our feet against the wooden floor. we were ecstatics then and it's that last I most miss, the sense of comfort in my own body around other people. we are still naked around the house now, but it's only us, and it's usually summer. sometimes we still lie naked out in the sun behind the house where the only ones who can see our fishbelly white bodies are the deer and turkeys. but I mustn't forget there was a time, and not so long ago, when little pleased me more than having friends whose bodies I was pleased to see and pleased to show mine to.