Charlie and Claire, BFF
“My mom, Claire, asked me to read this to her special friends on this dark and special day. Knowing her, as you must, you can expect some embarrassing revelations. Here is her letter.”
“Running wildly with our puppies, we two six-year-old strangers collided hard in the park. From giddy smiles under blue skies, my world became a swirl of white cloud-green grass-brown dirt and screaming moms. That’s how I met Charlie, my instant and lasting friend.
“‘Are you hurt, Claire?’ mom asked. With few scrapes and no tears, I wasn’t, yet was still oddly comforted by mom crushing me against her soft chest as Charlie’s mom silenced him against her. He wasn’t hurt, so why was he such a crybaby? Huh, boys!
“Our moms looked us over and rattled apologies at each other — we didn’t know what that was — and also became instant friends. Charlie and I had frequent play dates — we quickly figured out what a play date meant. Those were good years.
“Play dates became sleep-overs and that meant we often bathe together and thought nothing of our natural curiosity about our slight body differences. Our moms never made us feel that our bodies were shameful. They undressed to bathe us and sometimes joined us in the big, square tub. We all stayed naked all night. Within a month, my mom and I moved into Charlie’s two bedroom home from our apartment. I didn’t know what ‘evicted’ meant then.
“Our moms shared one bed in one room; Charlie and I shared a bed in the other room. We found the comfort of soulmates in each other, even if we didn’t know it. Moms always found fun indoor games for us to play as a family as well as light outdoor sports. They always played with, and guided, us. We all played naked in our back yard, but Charlie and I also played naked in the front. We found that curious, but accepted our normality.
“One bath night, Charlie asked, ‘What happened to your peanut?’ and felt where it was missing, I wondered too. I’d barely noticed his peanut and tiny acorns until he asked about them.
“When I reached out to touch them, he hollered, ‘No! You already broke yours off. And our moms broke theirs too.’ We ran from the tub to ask our moms and found them kissing on the sofa. Good thing they were naked; Charlie ran to them and pushed both their legs apart, quickly confirmed the missing parts, and asked, ‘Mom, do all girls get hairy and break off their peanuts and acorns like this?’ He held up his boy bits for them, but they just smiled at his innocence and otherwise ignored him.
“They didn’t object to his touching them as he looked for their missing bits, but that day was the first time they seemed embarrassed. They explained the medical and common names for our genital parts and asked us to use the proper names. When they told us that we should not run naked outside any longer because polite society frowned on that and they could be arrested, we were totally confused. Since we were entering first grade in school that year — we were home schooled until then — they told us to keep our home life private — that meant no revealing secrets to new friends or adults. Why would they care? Isn’t everyone born naked? My mom said so.
“Those were questions of an innocent. How I miss those days of simple peace.
“Though long past nursing, they let either of us suckle either of them for several years. At first, they claimed that was better than sucking thumbs and would save us much pain later when we’d need dental work. We all took comfort in that loving closeness.
“Most of the world outside home wore clothes all the time. Mom let us see on TV where some villagers didn’t, but visitors did. That was confusing. We adapted to the rules we saw and were soon also embarrassed by anyone else catching us exposed. Yet, we four remained comfortable naked folk at home and often in the back yard.
“By the time we were twelve, we were used to seeing some changes in our bodies. Seeing the three hairs on Charlie’s chin appear surprised me. Watching hair cover his penis and scrotum startled me. I’d never seen a naked male adult, and Charlie was getting there. Our moms had trimmed their pubic hair, so my own growth was not a surprise. When I started growing boobs, we felt and compared each others’ chest in all innocence.
“We admired and combed each other’s hair until I panicked when I thought I was becoming an ape with dense hair under my arms and surrounding my labia. Mom said that was OK and showed me and Charlie how to trim or remove it. She pointed out Charlie’s darkening and thickening patches were like mine, except for his face growing some too. He would need to start shaving it soon. Meantime, she plucked the three thick chin hairs off his chin. ‘If it hurts that much, I may never shave,’ he whimpered. Huh, boys! Yet, he was proud of his general body hair.
“When his mom died of cancer, Charlie was inconsolable. We were sixteen then, but could not tell our friends how much she meant to both of us. With a huge painful hole in three hearts, I became the nurturer. Though we still slept together for comfort — no, we weren’t fornicating — we joined my mom in her bed for three months. That was another secret we kept since we understood that most people would not understand how we could all sleep naked together and not have sex.
“That finally changed on our eighteenth birthdays when mom said it was OK and she would help us understand the physics of sex and the chemistry of love. She said it was obvious to her that we loved each other even before we knew what that meant. Despite taking liberties with each other, relieving ourselves and each other in many ways since we were fourteen, she was happy that we had not had intercourse until that legal age. We didn’t have sex even then, we made love and expressed our deep love for each other. Charles was a remarkable, caring, funny man from childhood.
“When mom got sick, we decided to get married quickly so she could still see us wed and participate. Naturally, we had the small ceremony nude — minister, witnesses, and the few guests wore minimal adornment. Our private reception was also nude in recognition of what our moms taught us, and we shared that with a limited number of special friends — ‘we are all born naked, and there’s no shame in our bodies.’ Mom was nonstop smiles all day. We continued to live together. Mom passed that same year.
“Charlie and I had a good life and three great children. We taught them what our moms taught us about our bodies and finding joy in life despite the naysayers. That doesn’t end today, my naked friends, though we four survivors tearfully lay Charlie to rest.”
“Mamma Claire, asked us to save her eulogy to dad and read it again at her viewing or interment. I agreed that it suits both of them. As you asked, mom, we are all nude and are putting you to rest naked with dad. Thanks to you both for a lifetime of love.”