I’m sitting at a cafe right now, trapped by a thunderstorm and heavy rain. I left my umbrella in the car, but I don’t think it would do me much good either way. So as I’m thinking about ordering some hot chocolate and using this time to work, I get this rather neat idea.
I have no problem with the cold or the rain. In fact, even in this dreadful weather I’m sitting in this cafe barefoot and in my normal summer attire (though I do admit I was caught off-guard by this rain). The only reason I’m trapped here is because I don’t want to get wet. If I get wet it will take me a long time to dry. Having wet clothes sticking onto my skin is very uncomfortable. However…
What if I had no wet clothes sticking onto my wet skin?
I could take all my clothes off, stuff them into a waterproof bag I have with me, then run across the park in the rain to my car. Upon reaching the car I could take the umbrella out of the trunk and throw it on the back seat of the car, jump into the driver’s seat, turn the car on, turn up the heating, dry off, then put my clothes back on. Taking the umbrella with me I could then slip out of the car and walk the remaining short distance to work without getting too wet.
But alas, that is not the kind of society we live in. Many practical things are frowned upon if they break social convention. Going completely naked in public, even in this weather where no part of the public actually is in public places, would probably get me in jail – if not immediately, then after someone files a report of some sort. Even if in some convoluted scenario going naked would save my life, it would still be frowned upon.
I’m an atheist, but… God forbid that someone should see a human being.
So here I am, trapped. The situation is somewhere between symbolism and analogy, really. The clothes make me feel trapped when I wear them. Now I’m trapped in this place because of them. The rain is still falling. And here comes my hot chocolate.