There's a naked man who walks around near where we live.
In a minute we're going to laugh about this because in this country it's a challenge sometimes to find things to laugh about.
For one second, we should probably pause and agree how sad it is that in Haiti there's really no services or a real plan to help people who have psychological problems. If you have people in your life that you love who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. imagine how difficult and heartbreaking it would be to see them hurting and not have any way to get them help. Sigh. Haiti is hard.
Wow. Now I almost don't want to continue this story, cause I feel so bad for this guy.
Okay...pouring ice water on my heart.
Wait for it. Wait for it.
Ah yes. My heart is now completely frozen. We can continue.
A naked person walking down the road is something you mention.
Almost everyone on campus had seen Naked Man but me.
No fair, right?
One night we're walking home from the store. We walk around the corner. We're almost to our gate. Aaron is in the lead. The kids are between us. I'm in the back. I turn the corner and see all our boys stopped, staring at something, mouths wide open. We have failed to teach them manners, so they are pointing and yelling, "That guy is naked!"
Before I can figure out what is going on, I almost run into naked man. Right. Into. Him.
Since Aaron was the first one to round the corner and experience the nakedness, he had turned around, waiting to see the reaction of his wife. Aaron is nice that way.
I turn the corner and bam. I encounter the naked.
Want to know my first thought?
"My gosh, his butt is amazing. Uh-Mazing."
It is. Who knew butt cheeks could live that high up on a person's legs? My cheeks would instantly have a hard time breathing if ever forced to that altitude. Naked man had zero overlap between butt and leg. None. His butt ended. Full stop. Then began his leg. Go look in the mirror. Chances are, this is not the way anyone would describe your butt to leg transition.
Yes, fine. It would take a very long look to make all these observations about a naked person.
My eyes tarried. They lingered. It's not every day you see a naked person on your corner. My sons get their rudeness straight from me.
Standing next to a naked man on the side of a busy street was weird. The next time you are out walking just imagine passing an all the way naked man who is not acting naked at all. That's where the magic happened with this man. It's one thing to pass a naked person who is embarrased they are naked. It's an entirely different thing to pass a naked man who is standing on your corner buying a coke.
Your brain sort of doesn't know what to do with the information it's receiving. Naked man. Busy street. Buying coke. Great butt. No one but the white people are staring. Where does the naked man keep his wallet?
A picture like this is not easily processed. While my brain was trying to reboot and figure out if this is a time to run, fight, buy a coke, or do lunges, I simply stood there and admired his naked rear.
That night, the Haitian man who works for our family (Dominique) came over. Dominique is my one-stop source to get all my questions about Haiti answered. Maybe Dominique likes being my go-to person for questions. Maybe he wishes I'd go read when he's here. We shall never know.
Naked man was fresh on my mind. I could not get over that he was totally naked doing not-naked things. By this time I've already imagined naked man riding a motorcycle taxi.
I described the scene on the corner to Dominique. I left out how much I liked the guy's butt. I told him everything else though.
After telling part of the story, Dominique interrupted me and says, "I don't know the word 'naked' you are talking about."
Dominique speaks pretty good English, but the word "naked" was lost on him.
So I said, "You know...naked...it means you don't have any clothes on."
Dominique's face lit up. He was getting it. He says, "Oh, naked means when you are completely empty of clothes?"
Completely empty of clothes.
Is there a better way to describe naked? I think not.
I asked Dominique if he thinks naked man is crazy.
He enthusiastically said, "Yes!! Yes. You would have to be crazy to walk around outside completely empty of your clothes. When you see this man, if you are by yourself, you should walk very far around him. If a man is empty of clothes, you never know what he is going to do."
I decided I would listen to Dominique and toss aside any future conversation with naked man where I walked up to him and asked him how he got his butt to look like that. Besides, if he busted out in naked squats in front of me that might be a tad bit too much. Even for me.
Dominique asked me what our country does with people who walk around naked. I told them we arrest them. He was deeply troubled by this. "They go to jail, just because they are naked?" We told him that they don't usually stay in jail. Then we admitted that we don't actually know what happens to them in our country (cause we're real winners). All we know is that you are not allowed to be naked and buy a coke.
Completely empty of clothes
Today I'm officially adding that to our Hendrick Dictionary.
Because of my niece, we erased the word, "wedgie" from our family's vocabulary and instead call the unfortunate incident when your undergarments are traveling to uninvited parts of your behind...a "washie."
Because of Ashton, we no longer say someone tooted.
Instead, when smelly air makes its way out of your behind we Hendricks now call that offense "pooting the cheese."
"Did you poot the cheese?"
I laugh every time I hear one of my boys ask someone that question.
That white stuff you put on your skin to keep from getting cancer will forever be referred to as summer screen.
Nun chucks? Oh no. Those things ninjas use will forever be called Neck Chunks in our home.
We've now officially buried "naked." Forever more, when a person is going au naturale they will be "completely empty of their clothes."
I'm hoping an opportunity presents itself for Aaron to get to really talk to Empty of Clothes Man. I'm sure he has a story worth hearing. Or maybe he just really likes being naked, and he lives in the perfect place to be true to himself. Maybe one day we'll find out.