Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Naked Lady of Assland

I haven’t seen her yet. She’s elusive, like the wind – but not like the wind, because she’s riding her bike down Main Street. Topless. In a G-string.

Local lore says when she arrived in town, fully clothed, she stood her bike up outside the little police department office. She walked in and up to the counter, asking what the local exposure laws were here in Ashland. When she learned there was no town ordinance on nudity – other than that you can’t expose your genitals – she ran outside onto the little patch of lawn and tore off her shirt and did a head stand.

My brother-in-law saw her this summer on a sunny afternoon, riding her bike along Siskiyou Boulevard. She was just riding along when she stood up on her (moving) bike, hiked her G-string up as high as she possibly could, stretched her hands in the air and shook her breasts side-to-side hollering “wooooooo hoooooooo!”

Later that month he saw her in a bike shop, fully clothed – probably one of those No Shirt, No Service signs at the window – checking out bike horns. He wasn’t sure what she finally settled on, but evidently she needed a little honk to accompany the woo-hoo.

I’ve really wanted to see her myself. Imagine the, um, nerve (you know what I wanted to write there, don’t you?) it would take to draw such attention to yourself! And to possibly ruffle so many feathers! I know I’d have no interest in doing it myself, and I’m not exactly sure how I feel about my kids grappling with the image (although I’m actually more okay with it than not), but I indeed admire her moxy.

So, because I haven’t seen her and because she's so intriguing, I looked her up online to see what her deal was, and here’s what I’ve since learned:

She’s Naked for Peace. She agrees there are probably other things she could do to promote peace, but this is the one that speaks to her. And, when you really think about it, being naked is a very peaceful gesture, isn’t it? How much more vulnerable can you make yourself at that point? I know I wouldn’t assault or attack if I were naked. What if all world leaders and soldiers had to engage with each other naked? Wouldn’t that b… Okay, I’ll stop there.

She changed her name from Jen to Gen because it has a better vibe.

She recently moved to Portland that’s why I haven’t seen her! I had a feeling she’d left town, but I think I’d kind of hoped she’d gone someplace sunny, like Scotsdale, someplace where she could really be a mover and a shaker. Portland seems like a drippy gig for your droopies if your goal is to ride naked for peace.

Alas, she’s practical. Portland peops won’t peek at her peeps much this winter. Turns out she won’t bother to ride topless if it’s just too nippy out.

* * *

So who knows if I’ll ever get to see the Naked Lady of Ashland nee Portland nee ___. Maybe she was just passing through on some sort of nudie World Peace tour and I missed my chance.

I will say this, though, about her: Even if what she’s doing is considered socially unacceptable, and even if I’d probably never in a million years consider riding topless through Ashland myself, she represents something I’m drawn to.

She’s free. She’s fluid. She’s not confined to worrying about whether she fits in.

She’s a child running naked through the sprinkler; she's siblings in the tub, wrestling and throwing suds at each other; she’s college pals tearing off their clothes, running and somersaulting through the air off the end of a rickety old lake dock.

To put it in peaceful terms, she's just hanging out.


KUrlie said...

Well, that last paragraph (actually starting specifically at "She's free...)just seals this one for me sister. Love it.

KUrlie said...

Oh yeah, and that picture. Brings it all home;)

Cyrus and Annie said...

now that is funny

anjie said...

Hi Annie. Maybe she'll come to Asstoria next. (I've been dying to write that!) -Anjie

Cyrus and Annie said...

Hannah just saw the picture on your blog and said, "Gross, I don't like people's butts."