We rode in Cliff’s beat-to-hell, pale green 1972 Chevy pickup truck. The other men laughed, but I was silent. To me, this was still offensively early in the morning, but to them, this was a regular Saturday. I was the youngest in the truck by three decades, yet these elder statesmen were beaming with energy that I could not muster at that hour. Cliff at the wheel, Scott the passenger and Leslie sitting in the back with me were the regulars. The brains, the brawn, and the unorthodox problem solver. What did that make me? These road-worn skin dogs were already itching to get out of their cottons and denim, yet I was feeling nervous, bashful, embarrassed even.
As we pulled up to the massive walled compound, a burly man with a clipboard approached the driver’s side window. He broke out into a smile when he recognized Cliff. It was all very normal, except that the man was completely naked. The tall wrought-iron gates, emblazoned with the phrase “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” breathed a mechanical sigh and slowly began to open. That’s when it got uncomfortable.
“Cliff’s Lifts” had begun like any other above-ground pool business: a weekend venture made possible with the investment of wholesale above-ground pool kits and the infinite patience it takes to piece them together. He’d take any dirty job, and it bought him the reputation of a maverick. Any pool, any time, anywhere. It was really the “where” that got him the good business.
As we pulled into the nudist colony, we were flagged into a processing area by a man and woman in hazmat suits. We were disrobed and deloused. Over the sound of the high pressured water spraying against me, I could hear our toolboxes and personal items being rummaged through. Anything that resembled clothing was gathered and burned in a large pit. After processing, standing there naked, I felt jealous of the other men on the crew. They were so natural, so at peace with themselves. They were by no means Adonises, but they carried themselves with confidence. They stood still, waiting to be instructed, occasionally spitting out sunflower seed shells. I’m not sure where they hid those when we came in, but I bet they didn’t taste great.
We got to work. For the first hour or so, I managed to hide my dignity with the draping pockets of a tool belt. That was until a stern-faced man passing by in a golf cart whistled at me. He motioned with his hands to “spin it around,” and I did, revealing my genitals to him. He nodded and drove away. This was a strange place indeed.
Aside from the occasional “pinch”, there was really no downside to erecting the pool in the nude. It was better than the renaissance fair fiasco when they deemed that Scott’s blood pressure medication wasn’t authentic to the experience. It had made for a long day of work when they replaced all of our tools with rounded wooden mallets and period-appropriate hand-cranked drills.
We were in the midst of a crucial section of pool construction, raising the walls of the pool that would act as the skin around its brittle skeleton. The wall was heavy, and it took everyone to get it into position. The age of my fellow constructors was beginning to become apparent as we used all of our might to push it up and into position. That’s when the wind gust hit, and the whole operation went FUBAR. Raising my hands up, I caught the far section of the wall of the pool; Cliff and Scott caught the sections farther away while Leslie was stuck on his back beside me, holding up his section of the wall with his legs. “I need a bolt to lock it in!” he called out to me, but I couldn’t risk, even for a moment, leaning down to grab a bolt, to stop supporting this wall in fear that we’d all be crushed.
“Use your dummy!” Leslie pleaded with me.
He was right. This was no time for shame. I began to move my hips in a circle, gaining momentum. Every muscle in my body was crinkled and on display now. I knew I only had the strength for one swing. Scott concentrated hard on keeping the wall level, but Cliff cheered me on, knowing that I needed it and he didn’t have the insurance to cover any of our injuries. I put every ounce of strength I had into my pelvis and swung my penis at the pile of bolts, sending them flying in every direction. By some miracle, Leslie had caught one out of the air and installed the bolt. The pressure on all of our arms lessened.
Maybe it was having come close to being killed, or maybe it was the exhaustion, but for the rest of the afternoon, I didn’t feel nervous or ashamed of my body. I felt like myself. It felt great.
When the work was done for the day and we were loading up the truck, I took one last look at the colony. Silhouetted against the setting sun, still nude, Leslie leaned down and picked up a Coors light can that was sitting on the side of the road. He crushed the two ends toward each other to fashion a pipe. He loaded a nugget of marijuana into the homemade chamber and lit it.
“Any dirty job,” he said to himself, taking in a massive hit.
Where did he hide that weed? Where did it come from? Am I missing something?