I was heading back from the store on my scooter this afternoon, when I took my usual longcut. By turning off the main road, I can skirt the beach on a small side street and if nobody is parked in the no parking area, I can pull my scooter up right up above the sand, and chill for a bit. Today it was quiet and the beach was pretty empty due to the tradewinds that had picked up earlier, whipping sand around. There were no waves except for the windblown ripples, and the ocean looked like a big blue bathtub.
I propped my scooter up on the kickstand and sat back, crossed my arms, and took in the view. I never take for granted that I live in a place where people work all year to be able to come to stay for one week (on average). The sun was still warm even though it was late afternoon and I could feel it on my arms. At the base of the palm tree right in front of me, I noticed a grey bird in the short grass. Upon closer inspection, I realized that there were actually two birds, doves, and they seemed to be in the throes of passion... or they were fighting... I couldn't tell.
The doves stopped tussling and settled down, as I scanned the beach and enjoyed the cool breezes. One bird was picking at the face of the other, like a honeymooning couple, nuzzling, and generally enjoying each other's company. The male bird (I think) looked up at me with beady black eyes which conveyed several possible messages to me:
1). What the fuck are you looking at Pal? Gimme some privacy.
2). Check it out, I'm a generic grey dove and I can get a chick (pun intended) and this loser on the bike cannot... he looks lonely.
3). Dude, you got anything to eat? I'll eat anything... seriously... even chicken.
4). Where did you get those cool blue tires? Sweet...
5). Someone's coming!!! Let's get out of here!!!
A guy was coming up the path from the beach, dragging a boogie board behind him. The doves scattered into the bushes as he walked right towards me. He made eye contact with me and nodded his head.
"Howzit" he said to me, "beautiful day," he added.
"Yeah" I replied.
He looked me over as he put his stuff down near the top of the beach wall. He seemed to be trying to read the writing on my black, sleeveless t-shirt, and then my hat. It appeared he was considering asking me a question.
"Are you a bounty hunter?" He asked me, in a serious tone.
"Ummm, no," I answered.
"Sorry, you just look like one is all" he said, as he sat down next to his stuff and looked out at the ocean. As he took out a cigarette, he asked me if I had "seen that show?"
I assumed he meant Dog, The Bounty Hunter.
"Yeah," I muttered.
"That's a good show," he said as he lit his cigarette and inhaled deeply.
After a minute of uncomfortable silence passed, I started my scooter and pulled away.
As I drove home, I wondered to myself what had possibly made him think bounty hunter when he saw me. Was it my unshaven face, black shirt and hat, sunglasses? The menacing way I was kicking back on my chopper (okay... scooter)? Maybe it was the way my energy exuded a general toughness, and that I looked like I was trying to survey the criminality in the area, waiting to react, and jump into action. My arms, bulging with muscles, must have been the tip-offs.
Had the dove made a threatening posture to me before he had chased them off, I wouldn't even had been there.
That dove was scary.