Wednesday, November 30, 2011

born worshippers

We woke up slowly and got ready quickly Sunday morning. Adam W.s friend Adam F. arrived punctually and we loaded the two surfboards into the pickup he had rented and strapped them down. Coffee was mentioned and we began making our way down Mission until Adam W.  remembered that he'd forgotten his camera or vanity mirror or something. We went back and grabbed it, got coffee and headed south. I sat up front with Adam F.  and chatted with him a good bit throughout the ride. He's a young guy that worked with Adam W.  at some tea shop a while back, seems he's from the area but has moved around a good bit. He's got a calm confidence about himself that I like and enjoyed talking to him throughout the day. It took us a couple hours of fiddling with the radio before we got to Santa Cruz. Adam F. had spent some of his college years in Santa Cruz and was knowledgeable about the town. He also had made the acquaintance of a gentleman by the name of Joe, who is 65 and some manner of surf guru from what I gathered. We went directly over to Joe's house upon arriving in Santa Cruz. He resides 2 blocks from Cowles, a famous Santa Cruz surf spot, and about 4 blocks from Steamer's Lane, another world famous spot. Joe had a garage full of surfboards of various sizes, and enough wetsuits for a football team. He greeted us all warmly, and informed us that we had a few hours before the waves would be worth venturing out into. He helped me pick out a wetsuit that would fit, a board that he thought would be a good one to start with, and was generally encouraging. We walked down the coast to the Surfing Museum, a tiny little hut with a bunch of old pictures of guys in short shorts, and then made our way back to the truck to go get some lunch. We went to Santa Cruz taqueria, another staple I was told, and had some hispanic food. It was rejuvenating. Bean had a hankering for some beer, so they bought a six pack and we went back to the ocean, crawled down in a little cove and hung out for a little while. A guy was there tossing the ball into the water for his golden retriever, who went at it hard for an hour against some good waves, a family also showed up, husband, wife and son, all in wet suits and all began jumping off the rocks and boogie boarding and having what looked like a blast. There was also a guy who looked to be in his early twenties passed out on a rock nearby, Adam F. gave him one of the beers because he looked hungover. Adam W. and I stripped down and ran and got in the water and it was as icy as I'd been told. Bean and Adam W. were getting restless to get on their surfboards, so we made our way back to Joe's and suited up. I enjoy the way wetsuits feel. They feel like the hug that Ive always been looking for. Joe told us that he'd see us in a few hours when he speculated the waves would really be going off, and we carried our boards down to the cliffs to get in. Cowles was still flat, so for my first time surfing, I was taken to Steamer's Lane. The board Joe had given me was a huge, heavy, bright yellow foam board and it was a chore carrying down a wall of slippery rocks but I made it down there and then fought the tide for 15 minutes learning how to paddle out. There was probably a hundred people sitting on surfboards, demonstrating their patience. I guess the waves at Steamers Lane are somewhat consistent and these folk all knew just about where to be to catch the good ones. Needless to say, I was a hundred or so yards from the crowd, paddling around, practicing sitting up, trying to knee paddle, paddling along with waves that were coming in, and falling off alot for no reason. It was so much fun being in the ocean for an extended period of time. After an hour or so, I was exhausted and fought my way back to the cliff. I got a good laugh out of trying to make it the last 20 feet to shore and there was just kelp everywhere and rocks cutting my feet and I kept slipping, it was just so funny to be doing that at that moment instead of so many other things that I couldve been doing. A treacherous ascent up the cliff and I was done. Bean and the Adams followed me up there and then decided to try out Cowles because it looked like it was picking up as the sun set. I sat and watched them surf some mellow looking waves for an hour or so, then we went back over to Joe's, got out of our wetsuits and got into his outdoor hot tub for a while. It was just what my body wanted, and I relaxed to the point of slumber, but caught myself, got out and toweled off. Adam F. had to have the car back in San Francisco by 830 so we had to go. We all thanked Joe numerous times, loaded up and hit the road. A quick stop for pizza, and I dozed in and out on the way back to San Francisco. We listened to a show on NPR about a lady who interviewed the people in the New York town that she'd just moved to. She asked them three questions:   what do you live for?   what would you die for?    what would you kill for?      Almost all of the people gave the standard answers that youd expectd. Love, family, Jesus, integrity, honor, and alot of other fluff that people use words to smooth gaps over with. The last people she asked was a couple who'd been married for 30 or 40 years, and they were each others answers. They were each others purpose for being around and doing anything. Hearing this made me grit my teeth and force myself to make some more bad jokes, like    I live for  the opportunity to die for the chance to kill somebody.    and other silly things like that. We made it back to the city and Adam F. only had about 10 minutes, so he stopped to gas up and Bean, Adam W. and I grabbed our things to walk the rest of the way, so Adam F. could get back in time, which I imagine he didn't. Bean and I caught the bus back to his place from Adam's and I was out like a light.

No comments:

Post a Comment