The Naked and The Clothed

A very, very long time ago, when life was a lot newer and simpler, the Earth didn't spin about its own axis. It didn't. It simply didn't. It just had this one side facing the sun (which was called That Thing In The Sky because this was still the time wherein clever little names weren't made up quite yet) twenty-four hours a day. Every day. For the whole year.

People that lived on that one sunlit side never knew life beyond that radiance. They frolicked. They played. Greenery was nearly as abundant as the sun-filled happy times. And since it was always bright and everyone knows that insolation is a direct product of the solar zenith angle as well as exposure duration, it was a tad bit hot. Actually, it was very hot. So hot, in fact, that these people would basically run around naked. Frolicking. Playing.

Needless to say, they were a well-tanned people.

And life was good.

Then one fateful day, That Thing In The Sky just up and disappeared. It was gone. No note. No message. Nothing. And the happy people weren't so happy anymore. They discovered a new thing: darkness. They couldn't see so well. They couldn't find the horizon. All their lovely plants soon withered away and died. And with the darkness came the cold. They couldn't frolic anymore. They couldn't play anymore. But what made these once happy people very unhappy was that they couldn't go around naked anymore.

So, life got tough.

Unfortunately, no one cared to do anything about it. That Thing In The Sky had bred an apathy in them that just wouldn't succumb to common sense. Time passed. And nothing happened. No one did anything. All their dear foliage lay strewn about them, lifeless and cold. No one frolicked. No one played. And what really made it bad was seeing people suffering from the adverse effects of cold, naked. Something had to be done.

After quite a bit of coercion and persuasion, a group of people was commissioned to journey to where they had last seen the horizon and, hopefully, find That Thing In The Sky. And, maybe even bring it back. Exactly how they would accomplish such a feat was a question they left ignored until they first found where it had inconsiderately gone off to. They missed it so much. They constructed clothing (which of course was not called "clothing" but rather "That Which Prevents Us From Running Around Naked"), realizing that covering themselves may be an act that brought about despair but it also brought about warmth. With a saddened heart and some semblance of determination, they headed off. Following several cycles of sleep and travel, they came across a horizon.

Oh, how glorious it was to them. They saw, peeking over the edge of some mountain, a bit of That Thing In The Sky. Some squealed in delight, some cried from joy, and others.. well, there wasn't exactly any hesitation in stripping down to nothing and continuing their frolicking and playing as if uninterrupted.

"Oh joy.", they cried in unison. "Oh wondrous spasms of joy."

When the initial thrill had passed, it dawned on some of them that it'd probably be a good idea to actually go beyond the horizon and into the light. They all agreed and plunged forward.

There, they found a civilization, completely overrun by very, very busy people and lush greenery, reminiscent of what they once had. The travelers soon discovered that these people, though sweating profusely, wore layers upon layers of That Which Prevents Us From Running Around Naked and that they had the tendency to squint their eyes and run into things. A good lot of them were of a sickly pale color, though the occasional bright red-hued stranger would soon catch their eye. Every now and then, they would be seen looking up and cursing the sky with fiery tongues and angry gestures. The people from the clothing-optional lifestyle side of the Earth were both shocked and amazed: these people don't go around running naked, they thought. And they're swearing at what they missed so much.

One of the Naked decided to complain. "You took our light!", he cried. "We want That Thing In The Sky back!"

To which came the response: "Then you must have taken our dark! Take That Thing In The Sky back!"

Confusion was more than prevalent when they realized that the one did not take anything from the other. The complaints, however, continued regardless.

"We miss our heat. Our plants are dead. We can't see the horizon. We can't frolic. We can't even play."

"We can't run around naked.", added another, soliciting nods of assent from his people.

"Ha!", retorted the more clothing-enhanced people. "We miss our cold. There are these green things everywhere. We can't work. We have to squint."

"And do you know how hard it is to work in these clothes with That Thing In The Sky blaring down at us?", added another from that same side. His compatriots nodded at this profundity.

"'Clothes?' What the heck is that?", asked one, but he was answered with awkward silence.

Through all this complaining, one thing was resolved: if those who wanted That Thing In The Sky really wanted it, they could move over to the side it now lived in. And those who didn't like it could always move to the other side. So, it came to pass that great migrations between both sides of the world were made.

However, with people being finicky and picky and all, some people, after moving, decided they liked the dark. Or that they liked the light. Or that they liked neither. As a result more moves were made. Some to the dark side of the Earth. Some to the light side of the Earth. And some to the nearby horizon. What with all this moving, the earth began to turn. It began to spin. But these people didn't see it as that. They saw it as That Thing In The Sky moving again.

"That Thing In The Sky does not like us!", the Naked would cry. "Look how it moves away from us though far we have traveled to bask in its glory."

"That Thing In The Sky does not like us!" The Clothed would cry. "Look how it moves toward us though far we have traveled to escape from its unearthly influence."

The people at the horizons, however, couldn't care less. They were making a killing in the selling and buying of That Which Prevents Us From Running Around Naked or, simply, "apparel" as the were soon to be called.

And so it came to pass that That Thing In The Sky journeys all around the world from the dissatisfaction and migration of these early peoples. The naked people, of course, mourn the loss of their garment freedom and excuse for laziness and pine for the day that the sun will stop dead in its tracks. The people originally from the sunless side will never forgive the thievery of their pleasant cold, the work it compelled them to produce, and the unspoken enjoyment derived from gesticulating others in the dark.

Sad losses for them both, yes.

Their lives were made all the more empty as they sat in remorse most of their days, watching the sun come and go as is its wont. We are the descendants of those people. The Naked and The Clothed. And somewhere along the line, we've all grown to become accustomed to the passage of what was later to be named Night and Day, adapting our lives to what the sun or its absence would stir in us.

Now as for the descendants of those who dwelt near the horizons, they were soon to be called "retailers" and never a fouler word was uttered by anyone since the day that That Thing In The Sky decided to move.

a writing assignment from en202, my one creative writing class at bu. the task here was to create an origin myth of some type.

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