I walked at Greenlake today. I walked a short bit in clothing and then in undies and then a short bit in clothing. I was at Greenlake from about 1 to about 3.
While in undies, there was at one point a young lady, I think, who said, “Oh my gosh,” or something similar. In fact, I think she said something or raised her voice a little so that a person or two looked her way. This young lady was in the water with a mom or dad; I was walking on the path.
Somewhat earlier, I walked past a family, parents and some kids, and I think one of the young ladies asked her mom, “Is that a bathing suit?” Maybe it was “Mommy, is that a bathing suit?” I am not sure of the exact words. I am using a red-and-blue side thong.
I hope it is not bad that a younger one would ask that question . . . Oh, there are no 911 calls logged into the online crime map in reference to me, for today! Given the fact that a girl I think was under 10 asked her mom about my attire . . . I’d have to say that no 911 calls is a good thing, on this day! We’d figure that 911 calls from adults asking police to check on things is somewhat ok . . . a 911 call from a 9-year-old is, I would assume, less ok than normal! . . . We can rejoice that I do not threaten people or act aggressively towards anyone! No need to frighten people . . .
When I first started walking I encountered someone I know from work . . . He knows I walk in skimpy undies, but I was clothed when I met him! Perhaps I would have asked if he wished to take my photo, if I had been in the undies! Perhaps he would have said we need to talk about not working for his group in the future, if he had seen me in so little . . . or we could have just laughed! He has seen photos of me in skimpy things at the Solstice parade . . . in a semi-work context!
At the beginning of my 2nd walk in clothing, there were a group of three ladies. I forget how we began to communicate, or if they asked me to help them because they figured I would be helpful, because of my smile, demeanor or dress. But they wanted some photos with all of them together in the same photo and I took some photos like that, of them, for them. And then one of them took the photos of me in street clothing!
The ladies were between the walking path and the lake . . . and I was walking by on the path. How did I look or act in such a way that one of them felt she could ask me to take a photo of the three of them with her phone? I don’t know.
When I was walking in clothing, I was not walking at this point with a free hugs sign. The sign makes it easier for some people to talk to me or interact with me. So, still, absent the sign, this young woman somehow felt she could begin a conversation with me and ask me to help take a photo of the three of them together.
Long ago I read the story of Thomas Jefferson and the yes face . . .
During Thomas Jefferson’s presidency he and a group of travelers were crossing a river that had overflowed its banks. Each man crossed on horseback fighting for his life. A lone traveler watched the group traverse the treacherous river and then asked President Jefferson to take him across. The president agreed without hesitation, the man climbed on, and the two made it safely to the other side of the river where somebody asked him: “Why did you select the President to ask this favor?”
The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the President of the United States who had carried him safely across. “All I know,” he said, “is that on some of your faces was written the answer ‘No’ and on some of them was the answer ‘Yes.’ His was a ‘Yes’ face.”
Do I have a face that communicates “Yes,” and “I will help you, if you need help?” I don’t know. When I am downtown Seattle and there are people looking at the little tourist maps, I offer to tell them how to get to their destination.
How do we fit the fact that some people ask me for help, when I am a stranger to them, with the fact that I engage in the somewhat socially-disapproved behavior of taking the photos of unsuspecting ladies in swimwear at Greenlake or elsewhere?