The naked project started when the war in Iraq started. I was living in New York and rolled naked around the dirties parts of the city- I’d roll over rooftops, along highway gutters, slam into cars. I wanted to feel the equivalent of something that seemed so far away. Then the BP oil pill started and the project was back. Responsibility coupled with guilt, coupled with penance. Shouldn’t we all be suffering the same? That relentless brown trickle of liquid floating away felt like the earth’s soul finally giving up.
I go to the dirtiest alley in South Beach- by Washington and 17th street- two blocks from the bling bling club scene at 2 am on a Tuesday. I take my clothes off, lay my back on the cool black concrete, take a deep breath, and roll over. One by one, shoulder by hip, leg, I roll like when you are a little kid down hillsides. I roll over BP, and this war. I roll and wipe over all those poor oily birds. Roll over and push all those families in the gulf. I roll over and detonate all the cluster bombs in Laos, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. I scrape against Obama’s poor popularity rating, explode Halliburton. I roll over the news that is a placebo into thinking we are somehow involved or compassionate. I roll over all the haters, and all the people not hating, thinking, feeling, I roll into and feel all the apathy in the world. I roll and breath in all the pain, it seeps in my eyes, down my throat, I scream and roll into the silence. I roll over them and into them and through them. I can’t stop this rolling, and thumping, and scraping. I can’t stop this rolling- someone else threw the dice.
That night in the shower I have different kinds of cuts all over my body- strawberries, boxer cuts, skinned knees, hickies, stings, gashes, slashes, and iv, a concussion. Three days later I have a black eye. They say when you hit your head blood pools to the softest fleshiest part of the skull. The eyes. At least I feel something.