It was close to midnight on my last ever night living in a dorm room. I had just closed on my new condo and I knew I would never live on campus again.
I had to do something memorable, something I’d only ever be able to do easily as an on campus resident. I had to go streaking.
I lived in Martin Village in the Spring of 2010. Martin isn’t close to anything of note on campus except for the gardens.
Most nights I rushed through the gardens on my way home, nervous of who or what could be hiding in the thick brush on either side of the path. The last night of the semester was different; the Susie Harwood Gardens seemed whimsical and magical instead of creepy and menacing.
As a sentimental girl, I envisioned a romantic experience of running naked through the new blooms in the gardens while being caressed by the warm May air. I think I confused myself for a wood nymph. Spoiler alert: I’m not a mythical creature.
I headed into the gardens at the entrance near the waterfall pond. I wanted to be off the main path, but not so far away I couldn’t reach a blue light in case the gardens really did house the creepy things I always worried about.
I decided to treat streaking like pulling off a Band-aid, the faster the better. As soon as I was out of sight of the main path I ripped off my t-shirt and shorts in record time. I had the foresight to keep them clutched in my hands as I began to sprint through the gardens.
Needless to say, I did not feel or look like a wood nymph. A nymph would be giggling and running a hand along the bushes leaving a trail of delicate blooms down the path. I would say I was more like King Kong. I was sprinting in the dark, crashing through bushes and leaving a wake of terrified destruction.
I was not kept in naked misery for long, less than a minute into my “liberating jog” I ran smack into a guy lurking behind a pine tree. I screamed and immediately dropped to the ground to hug my knees and keep as much covered as possible. I think the poor garden stoner was more afraid than I was. He was just looking to relieve stress in peace and instead he got accosted by a naked King Kong.
He stumbled off down a nearby path and I took off in the other direction trying to get my clothes back on and not fall or run into someone else. It was the most exhilarating and humiliating moment of my life up to that point.
I don’t know what laws there are against streaking or public nudity so I am not going to give any advice on how to accomplish this feat if its on your bucket list but I can tell you ways that I wouldn’t streak.
One includes running stark naked through a ceremony to honor the military ECU streaker style. A good streaking rule of thumb would be to avoid sporting events, there are too many people that are paid to run after you. Although, running naked in a pitch black garden probably isn’t the safest way to cross it off your list either.