Loris

On the day of the hurricane, in Brainard, Alabama, I'm eating a sandwich in the group house kitchen on the grounds of the H and H (Happy and Healthy) Natural Community. The H and H sits in Frank's path and everyone has been nervous for the past few days. But we'd all made it through the first part of the storm without any major damage. In one of those sudden moments, as precise as a rice grain, I wonder how my parents in Opel had fared.

I wipe some mayo from my chin, then step up to the big window to look out over Skin Pocket's Green, where the H and H members are holding a quick group meeting while the hurricane's eye passes through. It's a pretty stupid thing to do, but for some reason the nudists feel like nature is on their side, like they wouldn't be hurt by her fury. I don't quite buy this. And even though I'm the manager of the H and H and advised against it, they decided to hold the meeting anyway, to appreciate the beautiful, complete, dazzling calm that had spread over the land.

I can see a few of them through the big window. I wave, but they are intensely concentrating on the conversation. I see Beau and Pinky and Little Peanut, nice people who think that the only difference between themselves and their neighbor is a preference for nudity. They are talking about different types of grass, whether Pensacola Bahia or Buffalo grass is softer on the feet and behind. They are really passionate about grass.

This calm outside is smeary and unnatural, like a tender sigh in a courtroom right before the guilty verdict is read.

I return to the kitchen for another sandwich.