Cloudraft the Wizard is eager to begin his vacation -- and my, won't he love to meet new people at the Nudist's Faire. Who knows, maybe he'll meet the broad and greasy sisters Knifeheart, Thiefheart, and Wolfheart ...
Tumblerapids is a nice city where the Frost River pours off the mountains, tumbles in pools and rapids for a good stretch, and then falls in picturesque mist and cascades to the next outcropping below.
I was sitting on a terrace at a bistro table with the wizard, Cloudraft the Great, having breakfast in the early hours just before the sun comes over the horizon. He'd conjured me the New York Times, what with having his wand tuned up and his magic hat back, and was feeling fine and expansive in the morning mountain air.
He put down a neatly folded newspaper on a stack of about ten others and said, "Well, Aser, I think I've earned a vacation. There's a lovely faire in Grovecreek coming up, just about a pass away. Nudist Recreation Week, you know. I plan on attending. Want to come along?"
"No, thank you," I replied politely, wishing he wasn't leaving so soon. I would really miss the newspapers.
"Have a problem with nudism, Aser?" he asked, his eyebrows raised in amusement.
"No, Cloudraft, in times of need, nudity is all you have. At this point, I have a little more than I need to resort to nudity as a way of life."
"Nonsense, it's recreative. Helps you realize what's important in life. Living naked for a while, you begin to sense the real basics of existence."
"And that's why you resorted to working at a diner for three years rather than walking naked along the mountain roads to get the sense of the real basics. I recall you saying that you were robbed of everything, including clothing, prior to that stellar employment. Shouldn't you have looked at the theft as being a watershed moment in your life, to encourage nudity and want as a way of life?"
"There's nakedness, and then there's nudity," he replied pompously.
"Yes," I said, "one is a condition, and the other is a choice."
"Oh, you're making it sound like some moral issue," he puffed, and pushed his chair back and left the table.
Yeah, it is a moral issue. People who are starving in hot countries live naked, and long for good times when they will have cloth to cover their bodies against the heat and the insects. In cold countries, having something to wrap around them means the difference between life or death. Die or suffer from nakedness? Only those who have plenty of comfort to back them up are able to look at bare-assedness as an option rather than a drawback.
Folks who really believe in recreational nudity will tell you that it strips away all the external status symbols and makes everyone equal. Sure it does. That is, if no one in the nude group has lice, crabs, or ringworm, and if everyone is fed well enough not to make you worry about emaciated people dropping dead in front of you. I suspect people still tend to look to see who has been able to afford a nice, smooth, all-over tan or the pedicure, manicure, nice haircut, and no butt pimples.
Oh, but the true nudist looks past all that at the inner person, not the outward shell. Okay, does that mean only nice inner people get to be nudists? Polite nice inner people only? No gallumphing groups of naked, joyously uninhibited lizardmen to offend the eye and ear?
So now the recreational nude needs to be comfortably well-off, healthy and standardly clean, and of the politely correct culture. Sounds a bit segregated to me, though I would hardly condemn anyone who was interested in a nude vacation, at least no more than I would a person who went on a golfing vacation. I just wonder, is nudity a way of life, or a way of vacationing from what you actually believe to be acceptable?
I don't do nudity except in public bath houses or at secluded beaches. I'm old and wrinkled, and I get cold easily. Others may be easier with exposing their bodies; I will not judge them. I just hope Cloudraft has a good time looking past externals, because before I left my little village home months ago, I heard the horny trolls called the Fart sisters talking about the vacation package they were taking in Grovecreek this year.