I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Central Park, but I’m certain it’s in the hundreds. And yet every time I go there, I either find a new route, or see something new. Yesterday both happened.
I started out on the Fifth Ave side of the park, and after a bunch of twists and turns, found myself over by the Hans Christian Andersen statue and a body of water called the Conservatory. Truth be told, I didn’t like this area particularly much, so I made my way up the hilly slope towards the 72nd street exit. Off to the right was an oblong patch of grass that contained a few dozen people milling about in various forms of leisure. In my never-ending search for things to write about, I happened to gaze upon a young woman with a number of tattoos upon her upper body. At first this didn’t seem too odd, until I realized that the only way I could tell how many tats she had, was because she was standing topless in the grass. It was at this point that I realized that she was with 3 other equally topless women and two young men who had no business taking their shirts off.
Now I have managed to gaze upon a woman’s naked breast on occasion, but there is still something in my reptilian male brain that makes me say, “Hey look, tits!” if I should happen to see them in public. I found this entire scene to be surreal and I was amazed that no one else had noticed, until I realized that quite a few people had noticed, they were just very circumspect in their gazing. As I walked up the hill, I found delight in the faces of the people coming down the path when they recognized the scene that was playing out before them. I myself didn’t want to be obvious and stop and stare, so I made my way around the grassy knoll, stealing glances every few seconds, while also watching the reactions of the various people who happened by. Their reactions seemed oddly similar to mine. They all wanted to look, they just didn’t want to get caught looking.
I settled on to a bench about 40 yards away and just watched the entire scene before me. One girl sat under a tree reading a book, while another laid back, sunning herself and her lovely mammaries. The other two girls laid on their sides, facing each other, engaged in what I’m sure was a riveting conversation about French cinema. The two dudes were doing something vaguely athletic, but to tell you the truth, I didn’t spend all that much time looking at them.
I wondered if this was some type of performance art piece, or if there was a secret hidden camera watching those that were watching them. I suddenly felt very self-conscious. One of the girls sat up and stretched her arms overhead, her lovely girls dancing in the midday sun. She obviously wanted to be seen, and I had no problems obliging her. If she wanted to indulge her outer exhibitionist, I wanted to indulge my inner voyeur. So I did.
A woman walked past me and muttered “disgusting” to her companion. There was nothing disgusting about it. It was nature at its most beautiful, and I mean that in a non-lecherous way. Despite my misogynistic attitudes and my unabashed worship of my own maleness, I will openly concede that woman is God’s greatest creation. No other creature possesses the beauty and strength and grace and tenacity of the human female. Unfortunately, there is the whole “crazy” thing, so it kind of balances out. Personally, I thank god for the Y chromosome every day, but as a child of a single mother, I fully realize that men could not do what women do on a daily basis.
The whole scene had the feel of one of those nature shows on the Discovery channel. I was not only watching the animals in their element, I also got to watch those who were watching the animals. It was a truly wonderful fly-on-the-wall moment. I suddenly realized that the source of these women’s beauty was not their exposed womanhood, but their absolute lack of fear, and the total absence of self-consciousness and inhibition. Truth be told, how often do you see 1 uninhibited women, let alone 4. It dawned on me that maybe they were foreign, European possibly. I wanted to go over and get closer, maybe ask them where they were from and what they were up to. But once again I realized that this was just my reptilian male brain saying “Get closer to those tits!”
Suddenly I became aware of a lump in my pocket. No, not that. It was my ever ready Sony Cybershot. From this distance, I could get a few great shots, or I could move closer and get some video of the entire Pride of Lionesses in their natural element. Surely people would realize that I wasn’t some weirdo pervert trying to get a cheap thrill, but a serious naturalist and artist, observing nature in its purest form. It also dawned on me that they probably wanted me to take their picture. Everyone that passed them had a camera. No one took their photo. I resisted the urge as well. Trust me, it wasn’t easy, but I didn’t want to be that guy, as much as I am that guy.
After a few more glances, I left the area with my trusty Sony still in its holster. I was happy with my decision and content with the outcome of my day. They had provided me with my blog topic. Be that as it may, I’m sure to pass by the Hans Christian Andersen statue on my next visit. Until then…