Had I recognized the (707) phone number coming through the cell, I probably would have screened it anyway. When I listened to the voice mail, I just could not believe my ears. To add insult to a mind & body riddled with injury, my chess partner and surfer extraordinaire to the North, Bodega Bay Mark, was phoning to say he probably wouldn’t be able to make it to Puerto this year. The news left me reeling.
BBM and I had bought that golden ticket on Mexicana in July of 2010. Round trip from SFO was only going to be $475. Chump change, even to us grinders. By August 26, 2010, Mexicana had ceased operations all together. Every week I phoned the bankrupt airlines, and every week I got The Manana. When our departure date of January 8th 2011 came and went, that’s when Surf Mutt broke the news.
For a split half a day, I was convinced this was the straw that put the cap on the dagger. All indicator flags leading up to BBM’s voice mail were pointing me towards staying in NorCal this winter. One thing after another after another. Thankfully I was wise enough to call bullshit on any red flags that were testing my heart & soul. I knew perfectly well that the disposition of my health was the only flag that mattered.
The after-affects of a late summer hernia surgery had me physically sideways. Some would say I came back to play for The Rebels a bit too early, but the surgeon from Ghana had ok’d my return. When coach stripped The 10 off my back for the final, I had officially hit an athletic low. Regardless, The Rebels went 5-0 over the weekend and sent the Bullies from Castro Valley driving back O.T.H. with a 4-1 loss to stew over.
On Monday, December 14th, 2010, I couldn’t really even get out of bed. I was in real bad shape. Later that day, a close friend of mine stopped by and handed me a couple of Vicodin and suggested I see Dr. FeelGood ASAP. “Oh and Aaron, I heard about your lackluster performance over the weekend. There’s always a spot open for you on the Hot Sox. We’d love to have you back. Let me know before you head to Puerto.”