Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Private Eye

One of the detective shows that was popular years ago always opened with the line as an aerial shot swooped over New York: "There are millions of stories in the naked city. This is just one of them."

I always wondered, being young and never having been there, if everybody in New York really walked around naked. It was a stunning thought. I wanted to see that.

All these years later, I still have no idea what that opening meant, but it still is a mesmerizing line.

This was early on, long before I became familiar with Pan and his cohorts. Long before I ever visited what they now call a clothing optional resort. Long before I ever attended one of those come as you are parties where people left their clothing at the door. I am sure that I was not the only one sitting there wide eyed, trying to imagine a naked city.

The jargon from those days was confusing to say the least. When you are in the naked city, how can you have any private dicks?

A detective show, full of naked people? What's there to uncover?

This was one of my early lessons in language and how it is sometimes used to confuse and obscure, and how sometimes, it can reveal.

Actually, if you ever watched that show there was never anybody naked in Naked City. But I am sure that a lot of us kept hoping.

Back in those days, there were a lot of things you could not say or do on TV. I guess they were afraid we might get ideas. Thing is, by the way they didn't say or show many things, made me even more curious.

As I see it now, there were other interpretations of Naked City, things that never would have occurred to me back then. You see, after many years of detective work myself, I have discovered that we are all naked under our clothes.

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