There was a knock at door #1 at 7:15am. I was sure who it was. He gave me a lift back to the treehouse and he headed back to his hotel so he could prepare room #1 for the younger brother of the nice Norwegian lad in #2. I set up that deal before leaving. It was Tuesday, January 25, 2011. I was tired. Iggy and I stuck close by the tree all day. Drank beet juice, ate bananas & oranges, napped, and read.
The past four mornings had been surf mornings for me at main beach. Sounds routine enough I know, but that is right about where the plot thickened. So The Big Man showed up unannounced to the tree house this past Saturday morning around 7:30am. Chango was there. Hugs all around. I offered Dude some black coffee. He only wanted half a cup.
While Chango worked around the tree and went ape(pun) over the new 2011 Zeitgeist release, I went surfing with The Big Man. I asked if I could borrow a 1mil of any sort. I didn’t need it, but I sort of wanted it. Actually, I wanted it for every intent and purpose one might put on a 1mil Springsuit in powerful, unfamiliar surf. What a Puss! Yeah OK Guy!!
The Dude put on zinc, and we walked across the warm sand together to have a surf. He rode a big yellow 10 footer. I stayed close to him in the lineup because it’s the right play. It was a small enough day by Zicatela standards. I picked off three waves in about one hour. As I’m not writing home about any of it, I’m just all smiles that I can live to write about it. I was bought a filling $2 breakfast, handed 15 keys on a big round ring, and was given a quick overview as to how the hotel operates.
There was a Canadian woman in #3 and some other fella on the third floor Penthouse. The rest was wide open. Dude Man was off to Barra de la Cruz with the fam to get some of the big swell on the horizon.
“And Aaron, see what you can do to get the nice young lady in #3 to stick around for awhile.”
“What’s her name and what’s her story?” I asked.
“Figure it out Chachi.” The Big Dude Man vanished and there I was. This all felt a bit make believe. The fried banana man blew the piercing steam whistle. Con todo I said.
For a solid 72, I remained quite close to the treehouse. Chango added an amazing third story w/ an ocean view, and Bob was my uncle. With help from Jorge, we muscled my favorite single bed high up top. PapaC quickly threw together a make shift desk out of scrap, and Bob was again my uncle. As protocol, I bought a new 600 Peso fan. As protocol, Chango dismantled all the safety plastic on both sides. He brought up his homemade bamboo lamp and Ipod docking station, and once again, Roberto fue mi tio.
I was up real early Friday morning, January 21 2011 feeling better than I had in quite some time. It was 7am and sorta chilly. I put on socks and a long sleeve T and drank black coffee. Chango had already gone surfing. He’s part of the dawn patrol at La Punta. Papa doesn’t surf main beach anymore because it’s no place for old people. He’ll be the very first to say the place terrifies him.
I waxed up and put fins back in my composite 6’6, loaded up on sunscreen, and walked barefoot to the main beach break. It was 7:30am. From the tree, the walk is a little over a mile. I stretched on the beach in front of the surf for about 10 nervous minutes, and then found my crease. It was 3-4 foot and surprisingly manageable. The set waves were still double overhead if you had the right board and the skill set to nut up. I had neither.
There seemed to be no shortage of familiar faces in the water. There did however seem to be a massive shortage of strength in my arms and legs. It was wonderful to be back in these waters. Any waters for that matter. Made a couple waves, had a couple moments. I half jogged back to the treehouse to minimize my time in the hot tropical sun. It was 9:30am.
On my way home I ran into the man with a canopied pickup filled with oranges. He met me at the tree ten minutes later. 25 oranges for 20 Pesos.($1.60) Ate a bunch of oranges and papaya and then went to work around the tree. Papa Chango has me working for some keep. Plenty for me to do around here even though he does all the real work.
He likes having me around I’m sure. I don’t think he has any idea who I really am or what I’m doing. I’m still pretty secret about things.
It was so on. I was still pretty tweaked, but it was on. Kaufman was fixing me up with an inexpensive low priority standby on Alaska. LF began importing every Beatle album ever recorded onto my brand new MacBook. Cruised by Shytowns for a special blend of surf swag. Spoke with Conrad about Wilson and meeting John Lennon. Made time to visit Meisha on the West Side to feel everything Dog. Had a chat with Kevro. Squared up with my anesthesiologist. Ran into Hoover and had a laugh. Picked up the high end sunscreen from Boney. Drove to Merced CA to buy up the remaining 100 gallons of Biowash Natural Deck Oil on the entire West Coast. Handed the house key to Bids and I was off to spend 48 hours with Omar & Milky before leaving the U.S.
Or so I thought. The text from coach sort of caught me by surprise. He wanted to know my availability for Saturday, January 15th. Feeling noticeably better, I texted back the half-word ‘Poss’. Short for ‘I guess it’s possible’. He went on to text that he got word the SC Crew were stacking the roster and if I was still in town and wasn’t too frail, The Rebels were in need.
When the 3B’s are on the pitch together, their record over the past couple of years is like 60-3. Historic-like numbers I know. They had a winning streak one time that was like 35 in a row. This particular Saturday would be no different. Biscuit capped the usual trick while Bruiser took care of everything else. Unfortunately Bird was about as bad as you’ll ever see him. The meter maid must have seen his play through the stadium fence and decided to leave a $43 ticket on the windshield of his 2002 Ford E-250. Didn’t matter to him. We got the W and the going away party was all of a sudden at my house.
On Monday, January 17, 2011, my youngest sister dropped me off at San Jose International for a 7:30pm flight to LAX. I had two final hours to think about what I had forgotten to buckle up. I emailed The Vaird to tell him I forgot to set up his highly anticipated Friday bread delivery. It also dawned on me that I was purposely leaving town without paying my Marketing Manager or the fantasy debt that I owed my Dentist and some kook called MYTH. Their loss. My fragile mind was spinning like a Dreidel.
I left my boards in Puerto last winter, so I was traveling light. I checked in a backpack full of clothes and things, and carried on a smaller pack full of technology. I bought a $12 Vegetarian Burrito and kept to myself as I thankfully and quietly waited to get out of Dodge.
I had a 3.5 hour layover in LAX and I’m not even sure what I did to kill that time. I suppose I just observed overweight people fixed on their technology. Of course I made sure to do the opposite. I remained skinny and kept all my technology in my bag. I ate my pack of Rolos, my Peanut M&Ms, and then fidgeted about until Midnight.
The three hour flight from LAX to D.F. is and was a breeze. The half empty flight landed promptly at 5:23am local time. All I remember about my eight hour layover in Mexico City InterGalactical Airport is that I drank a ton of Starbucks coffee just to stay warm. Although I was dressed in tennis shoes w/ socks, long pants, long sleeve shirt, and a hat, I still froze my ass off. It appeared that everybody in my terminal had healthy, sturdy backs, and were way warmer than I was tambien. Hard times for this 43 year old. I had the Nano on Shuffle and was doing everything I could just to stay alive.
But now the time had arrived. The only flight that mattered. It was 1:30pm and AeroMar was taking me to Puerto Escondido. About twenty of us took a two mile bus ride along the more remote areas of the tarmac. We finally pulled up to the big ol’ jet airliner. The pilots and pretty airline attendants were waiting with thumbs up, and smiles all around. We entered from the rear of the plane, and I got on very last. That’s my new thing.
The plane was half full. I doubled up on the delicious vegetable sandwich they offered as well as a couple of Dos Equis. I sat on the left side of the plane which I knew would give me a remarkable view of all Puerto once the jet makes the big sweeping left hander over the ocean during the final decent. There was obvious swell in the water. I got off the jet last. Normally that is not my thing.
The huge sign on the airport wall reads Bienvenidos a Puerto Escondido. The airport is tiny. One gate in one terminal. I walked off the plane onto the tarmac. The wind was blowing 20 knots and it was 82 degrees. Let there be no doubt that I had arrived in the Mexican Tropics.
A couple different pairs of Federalis with machine guns watched us all get off the plane. I was wearing my dark Kaenons and kept my head down. The dark brownish/blackish 120lb Malinois Shepherd sniffed every single bag that was loaded onto baggage claim. Well Lookie Here. My bag came off first. I grabbed it, turned to my right, and sure enough there was Papa Chango.
For twenty three straight days beginning Wednesday December 15, I gobbled up roughly forty heavy duty painkillers along with 40,000mg of IBU. Had no other choice. The show had to go on and I could not get any comfort without them. Actually that’s not entirely true. The only place(if you want to call it a place) that I could find any comfort whatsoever was sitting on a hard leather saddle hunched over the top tube of my ten-speed. Tough place to catch any ZZZ’s if you know what I mean. Needless, the routine was simple. Toss and turn all fucking night until I was more or less forced to the medicine cabinet around 5am. Pop a pill and hope I didn’t need too many more to get through the long day. Dude what happened? Here’s what happened. When I woke up the morning after seeing Dr. FeelFucked, my back pain was magically better. Slight problem though. Jackass left me with an insurmountably vicious stinging pain that began in the upper reaches of my ass and ran down and thru my already deteriorating quad muscle, finishing up painfully on the outside of my right knee. Youtube validated Google which validated what I thought all along. Mr. Snap Crackle Pop gave me a severe case of Sciatica!