If anything, after another visit to the neighbours I’m even more curious.
As before, Russ greeted me at the door and led me up to their flat, and as before Alison was sitting on the sofa and invited me to sit beside her. This time I was slightly more prepared and wore my “Sunday best”, which is to say a pair of smart trousers and a nicer top. Alison was in a skirt and knee-high leather boots, which seemed overkill for indoors.
This time at least Russ sat down some of the time, but he still didn’t say much, and didn’t have tea, but he did bring me a delicious piece of Victoria sponge that Alison had made.
Then at some point Alison said she knew we would get on because she could tell from seeing me across the street that I was the non-judgemental type and had a lot of self-confidence. I asked her what made her say that, because it seems miles from the truth, and she said, frankly, that anyone who was happy to walk around with nothing on and not care who saw her was a very confident person in her book.
I didn’t really know what to say, because despite the fact she’s seen me walking around naked, and I know she’s seen me walking around naked, it’s just not something you expect to be brought up in conversation.
And then she told me about a holiday they’d had in Croatia this year at a “clothing optional” resort, and she said she realised she just loved hanging around with the sort of people who don’t mind showing off their bodies. I asked her if she had stripped off and she said no, absolutely not, but Russ had for the whole week, in all the areas of the resort that it was allowed, which was everywhere except the bar and restaurant.
Well, then she grabbed an iPad from the table and I was shown the holiday photos and told how much I’d like it there. But I was too distracted by seeing Russ in all his naked glory, close up and sometimes mildly aroused, sometimes not, standing beside Alison wearing a variety of summer dresses and sarongs. Like them seeing me nude, I know I’ve seen Russ from a distance, but having his partner show me the pictures of him naked was just… not what I expected.
Russ didn’t say anything the whole time, except nodding when Alison asked him a question about where one of the photos was taken.
After that it was as if the floodgates had opened, and she said how lucky she was to meet someone else who realised that nudity wasn’t just about sex, and just because other women had seen Russ nude it didn’t mean he was available to them. I said I couldn’t agree more and I’d never think that just because someone was naked it meant that we were about to have sex, and Alison said that was really good to hear “wasn’t it Russ” (nod).
So, she said, it was a shame she hadn’t realised for so long, because she had worried about upsetting me if I saw Russ walking around in the nude, but when she saw me do the same she realised it was okay and I’d understand. I nodded and said I understood perfectly, and maybe I did (or do), but I’m not quite sure.
But with time passing apparently they had to go to her parents for dinner, so we exchanged a kiss on the cheek and Russ showed me downstairs again and I came home.
I saw them leave and felt better about walking around in the nude again knowing that they wouldn’t take it as a sign of anything that the first thing I’d done when I got home was leap out of my clothes.
Still, it’s amazing what you can find out about people in the strangest of ways.