Thinking of South America.
Hanker down so you can pick up and leave. Rest so you can sleep. Get moving so you can move out. Take some time so you can have some for later. Hurry up and wait.
The clouds were lingering still, spread thin and patchy over my head. It felt like muggy central California; morning dew had crept down the coast. I had circled the routine wave check for the north of the hill. Cove: Nope. RAT: Nope. Avenues: Don’t think so. Haggs: Humm… Small but empty. Some unconvincing, meek little swells peeled around the rock reflecting the soft cloudy sky. I walked back to the gazebo, just to make sure that some magic head high swell hadn’t materialized at RAT. The beach was still the same and while I was trying to will the waves to appear I heard a chunky sound that was some kind of collaboration between a rattle and a hum not to mention the squeaky parking job. This must have been the uncle of my old and equally loud car. From a distance I could see a plaid shirt, striped shorts and blond head step out of the old Vanagon (which I was surprised could support the hoard of boards it held inside and out).
I walked to the little tree that had been bent to a bench and saw him again, just standing there. His eyes were fixed out to sea.
“You gonna go out?” I asked.
“This little left pops up every once in a while.” As he turned to me I could see the excitement and glimmer in his burnt, green eyes.
“Yeah. I’ve been watching.”
“What’s this place called?”
“Haggertys,” I notified with an unworthy authority.
He told me how it is hard to keep all the spots lined up in his head but that he had been out here once before. That morning he had checked nearly every break from Bolsa Chica through Palos Verdes. I asked him where he was from and was surprised and somewhat impressed when he said New York. From the sounds of it, it sounded like he had been everywhere, had a myriad of unofficial addresses and surfed nearly every break in the states. He was telling me about his recent near death rock climbing experience when he interrupted himself. “Where is Redondo?”
I pointed. “There. Torrance. Redondo. Hermosa. It’s two minouts from here.” Apparently that was his next destination.
“So you ready to do this? Go grab your board.” He smiled.
I laughed and obediently I went to my car. When we met back at the top where you slide down to the water (I hesitate to call it a “trail”) he had two boards in hand. One was a pretty little fish with a beautiful quad set and marble design on the deck while the other board was quite the sight to be seen. This creature was once a soft top which now had a good two feet chopped off and someone had taken a sharpie to it chiseled on a shark mouth and some gruesome, buggy eyeballs. I was cordially introduced to this monster who he refereed to as “be-bop.” As it turned out, he riped on this thing (whatever that thing was). And with such style. This was the first New Yorker I had surfed with although he was truly a man of no land. He was so stoked to be on a wave, riding anything. In between sets we discussed his travels and ambitions. I have never seen someone that enjoyed the world so much. He reminded me of the pokey little puppy. Far from home but it didn’t matter. He was just going. Moving. Looking around. I wonder if he will ever find what he is looking for.
It is easy to spend money.
If you are on a tour: you are a tourist. Get over it.
It’s not always bad to have a plan.
Drink the water.
People are different.
People are the same.
The world is big.