A short work of fiction.
“Amy had more than a hunch about who made the unnecessary calls regarding the occasional puppy barking. She knew who ratted her out, wanted her gone. And why.
She’d paid close attention to the fact that there was only one neighbor who could possibly see the interior of her dwelling. Said neighbor, Mary, also had to reach quite a stretch to do it. Then there was the rare event Mary nodded an obligatory validation of Amy’s existence in passing. Otherwise, she let it be known that single, actively dating, middle-aged, hyperactive, frequently braless Amy was not an ideal fit for her puritanical Historic, mostly married “fishing” community.
Albeit, behind the drawn, layered drapes, stretch Mary did. Moreover, aglow in blue, behind his flat-screen in his converted-to-office attic, Mary’s paunchy husband, Bill, bid his own creepy peeping, fooling himself invisible.
Of all this, Amy is well aware because she loves to allow natural light into her living space. She has no use for window dressings. Amy flies high above the toil and strife of always clothed folks and their inhibitions. She concerns herself with none of it while taking nude refuge in her sacred but open space.
Amy is a bit of a naturist.
By and by the year came for its turn of seasons. The year that was. The temperatures, the temperaments the ache in Amy’s temporal bone rose to fevers late that summer. They broke all previously set records.
One blistering day the shade from the huge backyard maple flickered an invitation. A light off shore breeze, the flight of the hummingbird and a swallowtail butterfly beckoned. Her pup lollygagged his lolling tongue, begging to go outdoors. The Nikon sat poised and ready. Amy readied herself for a backyard adventure. Just in case, where was that darn mask.
The weather station reported ninety five degrees, one hundred three, heat indexed.
“A breathing alert day. A red alarm day. A be sure to dress for the weather day. Don’t layer clothing day.” Flashed the screen.
“Breathing alert?” Amy shouted toward the window as she dripped from her barely skin folded chest.
“Don’t layer? I own one bra and it’s like tightening a cinch around my chest on the best of days! They don’t make them in any less than four layers! And, why the hell do they do that, anyway? No. I will not wear a bra day. ”
Suddenly Amy heard a commotion coming from the street below. Did not only Mary, but all of her neighbors hear her shouting about not wearing the proper undergarments out of doors that day? Even Father Murphy seemed to have been summoned as well as Sister Rosalie, Amy’s third grade teacher. Patrick Mullaney’s Dad from Lindy Ave. helped him set up a lemonade stand. A full homemade cup for a nickel. Business was good already. A game of dodgeball was in progress in front of the Sullivan and Porter houses. Someone had pulled up a grill for barbecuing later on. Coolers and carts and Mom’s with wagons and little kids came along. Popcorn and clowns and balloons, streamers and fireworks showed up. Marching bands and Mounted Police, giants and midgets. Amy couldn’t believe her eyes!
Hamburgers, hot dogs, apple pie and lemonade. Someone even drove up in a Chevrolet!
Angrily, Amy finally flung open the window. She leaned over the sill from the waist, exposing, once and for all, her hot Irish temper, “All this hubbub for no bra? MYOB and look at yourselves. No masks! You’ve all gone mad!”
The clown smiled. The crowd looked up and laughed simultaneously. Big, guffaws and belly laughs, some laughing so hard as to spill tears into the street.
Hell no, Amy!
Get yourself down here!
We don’t care what you wear!
Just please, don’t wear a mask.
We’re celebrating a great victory!
They’ve finally developed a vaccine!”