By Daniel Houck
Sometimes you realize, or better still, someone "realizes" you into the awareness that people are simply amazing.
Tuesday I came home a little earlier than usual from work. Traffic was less the winding monster it usually is these days near most major cities at closing time. But despite this I was exhausted after the long drive. Having decided a quick nap would be in order as I parked the car in the driveway, I soon found this to be impossible.
Closing the car door after lifting my briefcase from the leather backseat, I had neglected the flowers I'd bought for Arianna. I turned in a somewhat pirouette fashion, though in a much more masculine way by course. As I did I looked up to my apartment window to see Arianna's lovely nude torso framed for but an instant as she brushed past and out of view.
Wondering why she would be nude in the latter part of the afternoon I hastily headed for the stairs, curious to know what she was up to, and to surprise her with the flowers I'd brought: iris, snapdragon, and freesia, all her most favorite.
Inside the doorway I set down my briefcase and made my way into our warm and reassuring apartment. This was our first home together and we both adored it. The entryway walls were painted a soft yellow, more of a Dijon mustard I suppose. Whatever the color, you felt that you absolutely were at home when you came in, and that, we both agreed one evening over too much wine, a lovely red, was what a home should indeed feel like. She selected the paint choices. I selected her.
With arms and flowers tucked behind, I walked smiling and triumphantly into the living room. My smile was exchanged for one raised eyebrow and a now puzzled expression.
Arianna was completely nude, crawling like an inquisitive puppy along the floor. Oblivious to my entrance and my presence, I watched her silently for a few minutes, as she moved slowly, gracefully and delightfully over the carpet, among and between our pieces of furniture, moving them as best she could, as if discounting them, when she passed each.
She would press her face close to the floor, fan her fingers, and then nudge herself forward a bit.
This reminded me of a time when I had been in the backyard as a child. Actually I was along the side of our house where it was shady and cool. I had been digging with my toy truck, pretending to excavate some great and wondrous worksite. Eventually, I traded the jaws of the truck for my fingertips, which I fanned back and forth, feeling the dirt as it moved around each finger, over, and beneath my fingernails.
My father had come home from work and walked up to me while I was completely lost in play.
"You look so very busy, what are you digging for?" he asked. I replied that I wasn't certain. I'm sure it probably came out more like this however, "I don't know. Something." Sure that it would be important and possibly magical when I did find it. And so day after day I was off in my imaginary world, sifting the dirt with my fingers like some gold miner, looking for unknown treasures that, without a doubt, existed beneath our yard.
It was with some fascination that I now watched Arianna, so deeply immersed in her search. So self assured of her skills in the hunt. Was she looking for treasure? Did her nudity help her to concentrate? Was there a mystery to be found in our carpet?
As I focused on her beauty and innocence, she jumped to her feet, turned and said aloud, "Ah, I've got you!" Thrilled with her discovery she started also, surprised to see me standing there watching her. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!" she said.
I apologized, presented her with the flowers and smiled. She returned mine with one of hers; a smile I will never grow tired of seeing I thought to myself.
"What are the flowers for?"
"Nothing, nothing at all. Just because. What's the nude search and rescue mission all about?"
"One of my contact lenses popped out when I rubbed my eye a few minutes ago. I thought it was on my clothes but I couldn't find it. I undressed after eliminating them as suspects, and thought I'd search sans clothing till I found it. And, I did." Sticking out her hand she said, "See."
Still smiling, thinking how wonderfully amazing it was to be in her presence each and everyday, I forgot completely about taking my nap.