Elie, Fife by Bill Alston.
The sun is up, ripe as a bag of Clementine’s in summer, the juice of its light pours across rock and sea, upon the great vegetable earth, and the whole natural kingdom. Cormorants and Shags, squawk and hover, out for the morning market hunting for fish. Eager to return to their families, who at this moment, are huddled in their warm nests, chirping like an amateur choir in rehearsal, watching the great wide screen of the sky, waiting for news of breakfast.
Mr Holliday is having a jaunt along the shore line, naked except for a tweed hat, a pair of binoculars round his neck, and a plastic bag containing a red thong, a pink vibrator a beach towel, and a pair of shorts. He allows the water to caress his ankles and feet. He enjoys the playful sensation of his toes sinking into the mushy sand. He eyes a small enclosure between two large rocks; looks like just the spot for him to settle down for the afternoon and sun. This quiet beach is ideal, no passersby this early, least they be affronted by the castle ruin of his body, and the uncommon sight of a naked pensioner. Slowly he jaunts to the rock alcove. Holliday whips out his towel, a hideous bright number, with two red parrots on the front; both perched on a branch in a luminous green tropical jungle. Holliday places the vibrator and thong and binoculars upon it carefully.
Exercise follows, star jumps, invigorating in the nude, even if his member and testicles swing up and down, like a dosing rod struck oil; best not to be embarrassed by the body. No red cheeked, shy eyed, God bothering about it. Like the tree to the branch, the head to the beak, the grass to the ground, it’s all a part of a part of a part of it. The despisers of the body – he’ll show them. Now he stretches: touches toes; loosens the leg muscles, inflates the solar plexus, and runs on the spot, warming himself up, get the old circulation sailing.
Holliday moves onto the towel on all fours - arse to the sea head to the land. He stretches his leg out, back and in, as though pedalling in the air. Back and in, breathing in unison, out and in, left leg ten times, right leg ten times, deep breathes, exaggerated breathes, like a panting horse. He concentrates, staring down at the red parrots, with blue and yellow and green tipped wings - ah, to be tropical, he thinks - locked into his routine. Suddenly, there an anarchic scurry of leaps behind him, then he lets out a soprano scream, jumping into the air, clutching his buttocks, no hot poker, no cruel twig, nothing but the moist nose of a Golden Retriever momentarily inserted and sniffed where Apollo don’t shine.
Startled, Holliday turns to scowl at the dog, which is joyfully bounding about licking at the air, trying to clamber up his body, while he, a man not easily scared by dogs, raises his arms in a cowardly manner, as though avoiding the flames of a fire that has suddenly broken out before him; pleading - 'Down boy, down boy.'
Round the corner jogs the owner in purple top and purple shorts, she shriek, running mediation stunned by the unexpected site of a nude pensioner. She slips in the sand, landing arse first, clumsily staggers to her feet, mouth agape, quickly averts her gaze, like a voyeur caught in the act. She catches a glimpse of the towel, the bright parrots, the pink vibrator, the red thong, lying out in bold accusation. Where to look! Her eyes widen, shock turns to fear, fear to paranoia. She backs off slowly, ‘Don't come near me. ‘She warns. 'Daddy, come here, come here now, Daddy.’ The dog is sniffing around Holliday's privates, he tries to shew it, can't get back to the towel to grab his shorts. ‘I’m calling the police! You are perverse, predatory. Daddy, here boy, here boy, come on.’ The dog dumbly obeys, thinking it's all a game, oblivious to the shock - no shame for a dog, they'll shit in the street on busy weekend, without so much as a blush. The lady turns and bolts, grappling to get her mobile as she goes. Holliday, runs after her, round the two rocks, then realises the horror of such a scene, ‘it’s not what it looks like’ but how could he say that. It is what it is. ‘This is the nudist section.’ Who would believe that? This is over, he rushes to get the shorts, hopping leg for leg, stuff the things into the bag, and power walks the hell out of there. There's a hell of a charge for getting caught with your clothes off.
(Work to be done.)