Jun 10, 2013, 07:18AM

You Can Probably See Me Naked

I swear I’m not a nudist.

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My writing cottage is on an island facing the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The (tax deductible workplace rental) property is on one acre. It’s a 1959 contemporary style house I like to refer to as "the ghetto Frank Lloyd Wright" house because of its architecture; but there's no way FLW himself ever came to Tilghman Island, Maryland to design a cottage. A young architect who wanted to imitate him though? Maybe.

Anyway, the front room of the cottage is all glass windows, and this is the room I use as my office (and sea glass collection show-off room). Randomly, I can only write with my feet up. I work on cold days inside in an orange 70s recliner (the “Archie Bunker”) and on nice days in the office in a 50s lounge chair I call the "lounge lizard" because of its blue and green funky vinyl print. I got it at an auction for $5 because I was nine months pregnant and proceeded to recline myself in it when the auctioneer came around; the other auction-goers felt guilty raising my bid. A mouse named Steinbeck lives inside my chair. I know, this is weird, but I can’t get rid of him because he’s too smart for traps and also he is extremely cute and only pissed me off when he ate all the blueberry pancake mix.

Inside, the house was designed with a completely open plan; kitchen, dining room and living room are all one space, with a chrome and Formica bar separating the kitchen, and a massive stone fireplace in the center. Three small bedrooms are tucked neatly in a row along the back wall. The corner of the living room is all glass, with two vinyl window seats facing the water. The property adjoins a very small waterfront park with two benches, meant for folks to enjoy the sunset over the bay. Which they do, mainly on weekends. So if you can picture this, it's kind of an Alfred Hitchcock set-up where the house is essentially all windows. Let’s just say if the lights are on and I were to walk around naked at night, any random innocent park-goer would see me.

I'm not saying I walk around the writing cottage naked all the time. (Sarongs are often the clothing of choice because fuck bras). But I am saying if the bathroom door is open, and you happened to be passing by on a boat, and you had good binoculars, you would probably see me naked. Ditto if I was walking from the bedroom to the bathroom “really quick” to get a shower. And it isn’t even hot weather yet. Once in awhile my husband and I sneak away to the cottage for a getaway from the kids, so one night I may have to make him lurk around in the dark and check out the cottage both by land and by sea to determine exactly how much of a free peep show I am putting on for this island.

Needless to say there are security and safety issues with a woman who’s often alone in an all-glass building walking around naked. I mean, it’s positively stupid by many standards. But I’ve never been modest. Grew up in a family of six kids in a house with one full bath, slept in a bedroom with two sisters. I don’t ever walk around my real world house naked. Ever. I think parents who let their kids see them naked are a tiny bit creepy, not that I’m making a great case for not being a complete creeper myself.

But there is something freeing about being in my creative space. My mind is open, writing ideas flow, and clothes are kind of a pain in the ass, especially if no one's really seeing me. At least, I don't think they are.

—Follow @splicetoday and @marymac on Twitter.


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