“Now imagine,” she said, “Imagine you’re sitting here naked. Just me and you, and everyone else is where they are now. Nobody knows, but you know the waiter is coming back with our coffees in a minute. Hold that fantasy in your mind.”
With that, I saw the waiter approaching from the bar with two espressos. I tried to imagine myself sitting here naked and confident, that we would exchange a glance, that he would look at my body and approve of what he saw, and then he would leave, thinking I was out of his league.
But instead of imagining that, my mind imagined me curling up in the chair with my arms clamped over my chest, and then trying to wrap the table cloth around myself.
The waiter placed our coffees on the table and Elisa thanked him before he left again.
“And?” she said.
“It was… terrifying,” I said, “I would have to hide.” The plotline of my book was going to need a bit of a rethink; sitting confidently in the nude didn’t seem very realistic at all.
Elisa sat back in her chair. “You see?” she said, “I told you that you would not know how it felt. You needed to know that to be able to write about it.”