About an hour into my walk, one of New York’s finest pulled up alongside me in one of those little ticketmobiles they drive.
“Hey!” he yelled.
“I know the law says you’re allowed to do this or whatever, but there are kids around.”
The word “law” was dripping with contempt. He clearly hated this “law,” and wished he could ticket me.
“Is there a part of the park where kids aren’t allowed?”
“Just use your brain. This isn’t appropriate. I don’t know what you think you’re doing–”
“Hanging out in the park?”
“[blah blah blah I'm scolding you] …and I know you’re only doing it for attention.”
“Wow, it’s so cool that you can read my mind,” I wanted to say, but I stopped myself. Cops can fuck your shit up if they feel like it.
“Okay,” I deadpanned, and walked away ticketless. Sorry, cop bro. I’m sure you’ll catch someone having a wine picnic or something soon.
As I neared the end of my topless journey, someone yelled “happy pride!” at me. I’m not sure what’s inherently gay-prideful about having your tits out, but I gave a “yay!” anyway, because I support the concept. Perhaps he thought Jennifer and I were lovers? (In which case, I’d be flattered, as she is quite the catch.) Anyway, it was at this point that I felt enough time had elapsed since being yelled at by the cop that I wouldn’t be obeying him if I put my shirt back on.
All in all, it was a pretty positive, if somewhat anticlimactic, experience. I tried to act as normal as possible, but it’s hard not to smile when you’re doing something so obviously goofy. I don’t think it’s yet possible for a woman to walk around topless without having people assume she’s pulling some sort of stunt, which is a shame. Granted, I was doing a social experiment of sorts, but it would be nice to be able to do it just because it feels good. (Also granted, many people ignored me. Kudos to them, for they are the future.)[tagbox tag="toplessness"]
As for the parents and children Central Park’s authority figures were so vocally concerned about, not one single parent so much as shot me a dirty look. The thing is, topless ladies are allowed to walk around in public, and most public places contain children. The way the law is now, the right to be topless in public trumps the right to not have to see a stranger’s boobs. If people don’t like it, they should lobby to change that law. Personally, I think that viewing a bare breast as inherently sexual and hence corrupting of innocence is silly; I’d much rather my hypothetical kid see women of all shapes enjoying the outdoors and being comfortable with their bodies than, say, two fully clothed people dry humping on a bench. One would think such an enlightened place as New York would understand this. I like to think the New York City of the future will be a joyful place full of free-swinging breasts, billowing marijuana smoke, and copious jaywalking. (We’ll also be grilling rat meat in the bombed out remains of condo developments, so we’ll need boobs around to cheer us up.) Until then, though, I think I’ll confine my public boobsploits to more socially acceptable arenas. Like the Internet.