first of all let me state that i do not now nor have i ever really believed in ghosts, that said i am afraid that i have brought a ghost or some spirit home with me in my van, my famous van from last Halloween, in which Jake and i built a coffin and put in spooky lights, strobes, and cobwebs and dressed like ghouls and drove around scaring the crap out of children and trying to get them to do their homework, very frightening, i made a garbage bag suit with duct tape and Jake lay in the coffin screaming and pushing the lid up. which points out the old adage, about not messing with the fates, or the dead, whichever, so i guess i took it too far. . .
last week having time off, being a bum, and going crazy stuck in this city, i packed the van and raced to La Push, the swell looked good, like five foot at fourteen seconds, no wind, weekday, no one would be polluting the water, i'd have the place to myself, sweet. did i say sunny and glassy too, shit i drove as fast as my little brownie could and made the turn after second beach, heart racing, tires squealing, autumn in the air already, made the turn and huhm? not great but there were a few bumps rolling in, nice, no one out, sunshine and pelicans.
so i'm surfing a few hours and the waters all silty, and orange looking, very cold again, and the set waves are all kind of curtain walls from one end of the beach to the other, and i'm getting a few nice rights and great lefts, but i keep trying to come back up to the top and every time i do the wave smashes down on my and hucks me over the falls, crushed into the sand, funny, alright then, maybe i'll duck down then instead and i get a few sandy barrels, all frozen and green filthy, smashed, i'm getting my ass kicked and pounded, by these close outs, and my board, my whole right side is pummelled, i catch a rail hard whacked to my hip bone and scream, then a fin stab to the calf muscle, and finally as i'm tucking into a cover up grab my rail and get destroyed, snapping my wrist back. i give up and paddle out again and wait and while i'm waiting, looking out to sea, i see this thing like a seal with a white head, or a small porpoise with a skull head swimming very slowly toward me, looking at me from underwater, looking like a fucking skull head, no joke, and swimming for me, slowly like a predator, shit, so i don't want to be scared out of the water, but i don't want to ignore instincts either, so i catch a wave and ride it all the way south and paddle back out, the water is so glassy and the sun so warm that i stay out a little while longer and some other guys paddle out, someone waves to me and i don't know anyone in the water, they all look like wetsuits to me, i wave back and smile, paddle down the beach and go eat lunch.
living the life, reading a book on the log jams drinking tea, throwing rocks at rocks, watching the pelicans fly like time machines, watching the fishermen, walk the jetty, sit in the van, wait for the tide to change and suit up, suit up.
but La Push is not a surf spot, there is no sand, there is no gravel, where did all the sand go?why are there no sandbars?why is there only shore pound?
i declare that La Push is not a surf spot, it's a beach, it's a great camp spot, it's beautiful, it has a lot to do, low tide hikes to James island, cliffs to climb, great chilling around a fire, log jam climbing wonderful. fireworks all summer.
maybe next year the rivers will push out some debris, maybe all the third and second beach sand will migrate back to first beach, like two years ago, when this sick sand bar developed for about two months of perfect rights, jesus it was like paradise, then just washed away and gone for years.
anyway, then it's dark and i'm in the van reading, that fucking book Matter, when car headlights pull up behind me, no, i whisper, why, and some guy knocks on my door, and i blind him with my flash light and hi he says, i slid open the door and he's from canada, of course, and drove out here from edmonton, like three thousand miles and he's a surf kayaker, and i tell him, to keep away from the surfers, they'll just yell at him, he's beginner, and he wants to know if he can camp here, and i say with me? no, and he's kind of creeping me out, but his tan toyota van is pimped, so we talk a little and he drives to town for a phone card and i'm glad he's going, read some more and fall asleep.
And jump awake with my knife out because someone is in the fucking van with me, i look around, nothing of course, look outside, this happens all night i sleep with my knife and in the morning some one has moved my wet suit in front of the sliding door, ghosts or kids, jonesy, ghost, floating skull heads, ahhh.
the surf looks shitty, i drink coffee, check the river mouth too sectiony, bumped out, fogged over, i go home. with a broken hip and charlie horsed calf, the van runs like it's fresh off the factory floor not twenty fives years old.
forget to tell the kids about the skull and the ghost, because of all my beat down, limping around.
the next morning mee mee tells me that dashiell saw a skull head under his bed, with red eyes. screaming, i check the webcams' pop advil.
and drive around with ghosts and skull heads, in the passenger seat, and it's not even october. boo.
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