An officer of the law asked if he could share the table where I was chowing down on a mound of North Georgia BBQ. It was a big table, and the joint was packed, so the other diners and I scooted over and let our new guest settle in. “Y’all aren’t carrying guns, are ya?” asked the man in uniform. When we assured him we’d left our firearms at home, he said, “I feel naked if I don’t have my gun with me.” We ate, enjoying our small talk and the best BBQ I’ve eaten in years. And I wondered, “What makes me feel naked?”
I feel naked if I don’t have a computer keyboard in front of me. I’ve been tied to a keyboard all of my adult life, first as a programmer, and then as a writer. I love to feel the keys pressing under my fingers. I also feel naked if I don’t have a book or magazine in my hands. I’ll read anything in sight. I’ve been known to skim through the literature in the racks by the grocery store checkout line. I feel sorry for Brangelina, whoever or whatever that is. And that poor old 107 year old lady who gave birth to an alien zombie... that’s just too much to believe. But I do need something to read; without it, I’m naked as a jaybird.
Now that my hair has thinned to the point of non-existence, I feel naked if I don’t have a hat on. I wear a hat everywhere I go, partly because of vanity and partly because of a deep fear of the hot sun pounding down on a pasty boy with enough Irish blood to burn where others tan. This past week, as the sun returned from its vacation, I went outdoors three times without my hat, and I felt like I’d forgotten my pants. I rushed between my truck and the stores, hoping to dodge the sun’s rays. I felt my scalp heating up. I felt naked and exposed.
Everyone feels naked every now and then. Even old Adam and Eve sewed up some fig leave undies when they suddenly felt naked. Of course, Adam and Eve were naked. Being literally naked is a bit more serious than being figuratively naked, especially when the sun is blazing and your new fig leaf outfit is still hanging on the vine.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at email@example.com.