On my seventh night in New York City I ended up, almost accidentally, living out a fantasy of mine — mingling with writers and photographers, in an expensive Upper West Side apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows, drinking a hundred-dollar bottle of wine.
Some details were different, however. A rainbow of throw pillows covered half the main room and the woman I was talking to was naked and I was in my underwear.
It was my first, and so far only, naked party, and it was the beginning of the end of a thirty-year era of rather severe self-consciousness. I’d always had a burning fear of the judgments of others. In particular, I couldn’t bear the thought of someone else seeing me as bad or wrong. I just couldn’t let it happen, and unconsciously designed a life that minimized that risk, which means it minimized interactions with other people.
This self consciousness…
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