Thursday, June 12, 2008

To Crutch or not to Crutch

Once upon a time there was a young man who dreamed of greatness. He came from simple folk who wanted the world for him. He spent most of his time in a land of great turmoil where there was always some conflict going on. Noble Knights and valiant warriors fought glorious battles and champions brought home flags and banners from the vanquished enemies. The kings rewarded his faithful soldiers with gifts of titles, lands riches, and noble brides.

The peasants of the kingdom, of which our young man belonged, loved their nobles and worked hard in the fields and the villages to pay the taxes and levies that kept their soldiers supplied and the king comfortable. All seemed as paradise but for one thing. The young man did not like being a peasant and wished to change his providence to one of splendor and recognition. “Divine intervention is your only hope, boyo.” The old drunken tinker would tell him. “You’ve come from a family of simple souls and it is your place in this world to live a simple life.” Once more the old sot crushed the dream keeping this young man going.

Is destiny that hard a thing? Do you really have to live in a world you find boring and useless? Why can I not strive for more? Why? Why? Why?

Sitting on the bank of a river, instead of doing his chores, the boy never heard the laughter of the girls swimming just a few feet away. All of a sudden, one of them noticed the boy sitting and looking glum. The girl signaled her friends to circle up while she detailed a scheme. They all giggled at the wickedness she came up with. Ever so quietly they swam to the boy. One of them got out of the water and circled around behind the boy. She, as all the girls, was naked. When she touched his shoulder and he turned to find a beautiful blonde girl standing behind him, the boy lost his grip on the bank and found himself in the river surrounded by a bevy of naked women all involved with separating him from his clothes.

At first he panicked, thinking it was some kind of attack. Then, his hormones and pubescent physicality realized a great truth…it’s not so bad to be naked in a river with a bunch of girls. Fright turned into glee when he grasped the situation, and he gladly joined in the fun hoping for the potential for the deflowering of at least one of the lovely young and bawdy girls.

All of a sudden there came a great roaring. Looking up the boy saw the group of men on the bank in armor and mounted on great warhorses. The roar came from the King whose daughter the boy was groping, grasping, and under different circumstances molesting. In what seemed like but the smallest part of a second, the water held only the poor, naked, boy. The girls had fled and the King and his knights were left with naught but their anger and a scrawny butt of a boy shivering from the cold of an unwanted and potentially disastrous discovery.

When the huge knight walked his horse in the river while loosing a tree branch to use as a club, the boy knew that his destiny had been changed from one of simple soul to dungeon denizen…

Well that is one way of telling the story of how I got arrested one time. Naked as the day I was born. The “King was a police officer in a small town upstate New York. The girls I embraced were his daughters, and the occasion was one of those skinny dipping parties youngsters would pull back in what I call the age of reason. That age being when drinking and smoking a little pot was not only an acceptable pursuit, but actually expected in some areas of society. It was after I exited the Army, and the first summer of freedom enjoyed by this writer without the encumbrance of family. I went willingly (after all, I WAS naked) and spent the night in jail. The next day the local judge came by and told me and my fellow arrestees that the charge against us was “Acts against Nature.”

Sounding as ominous and life ruining as it probably was this charge had nothing to do with what the true disposition of the offense. Realistically, would it not be a natural occurrence for a twenty-one year-old, red-blooded American man and recent veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces to seek the company of young, nubile women of unrestrictive moral posture? It was the 1970’s for God’s sake!

What it actually did for me, was introduce me to the American system of justice in that upon hearing the charge, I immediately asked for a lawyer and told him I was unemployed. So did the other eight guys in the cell with me. The judge looked at us and promptly reduced the charge to public nuisance. I always figured he’d added up what it would cost the town for all those free lawyers and discretion proved to be the better part of bankrupting the small town of Downsville, N.Y. Twenty-five dollars later, (paid by, to the chagrin of their father, by my swimming companions) I left the jail and went in search of my clothes.

I detail this story as a part of a series of pieces on the encroaching age related frailty I am currently not enjoying, and in expectation of my senior citizenship. If the same incident were to happen today with a pair of nubile young women of unrestrictive moral posture the charge really would be “Acts against Nature” given my age. Additionally, if I were even able to get into a river with my clothes off, it would, given my girth, take a wrecker and four large men to get my big ass back out of the river. Also, if the removal from the river did not send me to the hospital, the night in the drunk-tank sleeping naked on a cement slab masquerading as a bed would put me on crutches.

At twenty-one this story makes sense. At almost fifty-five I am wont to whine for days gone by that will never return. I recently shared this story with the current holder of my amorous attentions (forty-five years old) and she told me that she would be happy to go swimming in the river with me any time I wished. Now the dictionary has two definitions of nubile. One details that to be nubile one must be a girl or woman who is eligible to marry. The other speaks of sexual attraction. Both of which my current paramour fits by way of description, ability, and enthusiasm. The issue is… do I want to recapture my youth, or spend the next month on crutches? Maybe if I promise to marry her, she will take up the care and respite of this victim of advancing age who refuses to go gently into that good night. Hope springs eternal. Peace.