They’re the city’s salute to the Davids of Florence, our naked guys hanging out on the corner of Castro and Market. If you want to see visiting Aunt Winnie drop her dentures, take her over some weekend, like I did.
“Why aren’t they arrested?” she cried, averting her view quickly. There are people in San Francisco, I told her, who ask the same thing but everybody knows you can’t arrest people for being naked in San Francisco. Her favorite tale about her trip (in select company) will be about how in San Francisco instead making naked guys put on clothes, an ordinance was passed saying they had to bring a towel to sit upon in public places.
I’ve never noticed our naked guys carrying towels, or sitting much, for that matter. They stand, disposed to dangle, or stride their junk, showing more skin than illusion will bear. Fact is, they’re mostly gone to pasture. If they were the kind of naked guys you and I like to see, there would be a law against nakedness, lickety-split. It seems almost kind of heroic, to be so exposed, upholding our noble tradition of freakiness in an age of the mass-produced.
Maybe I’m projecting. Maybe being naked for them is as simple as not putting on clothes. Maybe they’re guys like me who open the closet doors each morning and say, Geez, nothing decent to wear.