On Sunday morning, October 30, 2011, I was up silly early. This was the day that a party of 12 Australians were set to arrive at the hotel and make it theirs. This was the day that started off by setting the clocks back an hour, representing my first time participating in that phenomenon way down in the tropics. Of course, what Sunday in October would be complete without the virtual affiliation of Fantasy Football? Well I had that going for me too.
It was quiet, dark, and sorta chilly. Wished I had a hoodie, but I didn’t bring one. The a.m. offshore winds this time of year are wicked brisk because The Mother Mountains that begin climbing immediately out of Puerto all find their way to about 3,000 meters. So it’s 4am new time. The Aussies weren’t set to arrive for another 11 hours. Kickoff for the early games was also a ways away. 7 hours I believe. I drank lots of black coffee until it got light.
When it got light, I got busy. I grabbed my new ball and headed to the beach. It was 7am. I was barefoot in a bathing suit. I wore a ball cap backwards. I did NOT wear sunglasses. I did NOT have an Ipod. When I touched my feet to the sand, where the ivy and tall grass still grow, I flipped the ball up with my left hand, and watched it all the way into the top of my right bare foot. The sting which preceded the blood represented sweet things to come.
Today I bought my ball. 90 Pesos. Up from 75 as I recall. The Indian pumped it up for me and promised air for the life of the ball.
My calendar has promised me four solid months to prepare myself for a return to the pitch when i return to the United States of America.
I promised Bicscuit & Bruiser that I would be flying around like a Bird when we gather again. In other words, coming in especially hot.
None of this comes easy. You have to want it. You have to feel it and nab it. You have to understand what is really at stake, and why.
The beanpole wore lightweight Capris, Puma shoes with socks, a red futbol jersey, a blue beanie, and he carried a yellow Size 5 under his right arm. He walked down my street this morning at 6:30am. I have never seen him up close, so it’d be too tough to guess his age. He’s in his 20‘s somewhere. No Ipod. No sunglasses.
I knew where he was going, but I was so damn curious how he was going to get there. Not the easy answer to how, but really and truly how. His final stop would surely be midway between Zicatela and La Punta. He covertly plops himself down well off the shoreline, camouflaged where the ivy & tall grass meet the sand.
Would he jog there? Run? Carry the ball or not? What was he thinking about? Who the hell is this guy? What’s he building in there? What’s he building? I know exactly what he does once he gets there. I’ve seen his performances for several years, but I am just dying to know what it is that is driving those performances.
About a week ago, I saw him juggling the yellow Size 5 with the bottoms of his feet. The fucking bottoms. Straight up. Guy was laying on his back near the ivy and the tall grass. Beanie, Capris, the whole nine, and he was juggling his soccer ball with the bottoms of his feet. All alone. No sunglasses. No Ipod. Holy Sh*t.
I first noticed her beautiful ass as she was ordering her mocha or latte. When she turned around, I about shit a purple Twinkee. I totally remembered her name, her ways, and her story. I pretended not to notice her. She didn’t pretend anything, spotted me, and came to my table to say hello. She looked gorgeous. I had met her two winters ago while she was here on a yoga retreat. She was struggling through a hurtful divorce at the time, and naturally didn’t look all that attractive. I could tell she was extra keen on me back then. Prolly why I shifted gears into Extra Vague, and kept the sunglasses on Extra Dark. Truth is, I was already comfortably hooked with a young gun from Montreal, and it’s tough enough to juggle brushing and flossing around here, let alone two ladies. But here she was again. Right in front of me. Fair Skin. Canadian. Frizzy blondish brownish hair. I’m sure a ton of grey ones in their too. Probably about 42. Flexible as taffy. Great body. Long and Lean. Walks real tall. Has that ballerina gait with the toes kind of pointed outwards. Pretty smile. Smart. Sexy. My hunches tell me she even has her own money. She is also in a committed relationship. I pretended I was happy for her.
Been seeing her. Boy have I been seeing her. Them actually. Her and her dog. They walk down my street most everyday, sometimes two or three times. She is just something else. She wears bottoms that create that ass fold, where the tail end of her ass folds over and under the true bottom, creating a good size crevice where it hits the top of her hammie. She is dark skinned and way out of my league. Always listening to music. She’s probably 25 and just smoking. Her female dog is full sized. It’s some sort of Pit Bull from what i can tell. They are a confident duo for sure.
One morning I was out doing some ball work, without a ball, but with a good boy named Rocky. You’d know him if you saw him. He’s sharp. We run in the tall sand. The wet sand is impossible with the Little Man because a sand crab scurrying to its hole generates the exact same reflex in him that blinking an eye might have on you and me. If you don’t see the ‘pull’ coming in advance, it could end up being your shoulder or arm socket. This dog will send everything he has into that precise moment. He will stomach a tablespoon of sand if it contains one dime sized sand crab.
We finished around 8:30 am. We were almost to the street, but still in the sand. Rocky was on rope and panting. It hit us both like a thunderbolt. There they freaking were. Her and her dog. Her dog was off leash. It didn’t seem like a good idea to introduce the dogs, but it happened quickly, and I spoke first. “Hola, I’m Rocky, and this is my dog Aaron.” Boy I fucked that one up. The Italian babe then opened her mouth and said three words. Sara y Everista. We kissed cheek to cheek. All the focus immediately turned on the canines. The roughest true love imaginable.
I’ve been playing lots of chess with my Jewish friend Jon Silver. The kind of Jew with lots of tattoos. He’s in his early 50’s. He was born in the same country as my brother and sister. That would be California. In the early to mid 70’s, when I was one of the fastest age group swimmers in all of The OC, Jon Silver was too. During that period of his life in California, he was in the Mission Viejo area. Too trippy. That meant he was swimming for The Nadadores, coached by Mark Schubert. And rubbing elbows with Olympic Gold Medalists Brian Goodell and Shirley Babashoff. And closer to home, that meant he was competing against the legendary Vassallo Brothers,(Jesse & Vicente) as I was regularly getting lit up by their eight year old prodigy brother named Salvadore. Jon opted out of swimming to pursue elite level H20 Polo, and opted out of Water Polo to pursue a career in riding Nasty Waves at The Mexican Pipeline. He’s been in Puerto for 20+ years.
Of course I wanted pictures and stories. He didn’t have swarms of pics from back in his day, but he did have a few. One that said it all though. In 2003, from a half mile away, Woody Woodworth took the pic of a 44 year old Jon Silver from the rooftop of The Santa Fe Hotel and Restaurant on a day that lured only a small handful of takers. Coco Nogales was one of them. Jon was riding a 10’6” and it was freaking giant. I can’t begin to tell you how life and death it really is out there on XXL days. He filled me in on many of his life and death oceanic moments. He comes across as someone who has spent a good amount of time over the course of his waterman’s life, desperately trying to get that critical breath of air. Gnarly is right. He has an eighteen year old son named Aaron, who is currently in The States, perhaps trying to get into the Coast Guard. His eleven year old beautiful daughter named Kirra lives in Puerto Escondido and shares time with Jon and her mother.
Jon & Kirra
i’m honing in on something insignificantly different about myself everyday. things that could matter, but most likely don’t and won’t. beats i drum, but that i have never taken the necessary seconds it takes to note. i could probably make a list of a 100 new nothings that i’ve pinpointed about myself since slowing the show down. from a numbers standpoint, it makes a lot of sense seeing that i have been here 100 days to the day.
for example, here was today’s trivial pursuit. so lately i’ve been back in the work saddle. it would be too difficult to explain my work day, so forget it. much easier to sum up by saying i have my old friend back. my good friend The Three Inch Brush is back in my hand. left hand. right hand. look ma no hands. upside down and all around. one stroke at a time. i’m the king of The Three Inch Brush. not a pun. don’t even go there.
call me cocky, but it’s extra rare that I feel the need to tape anything off. It’s that athletic challenge to be extra neat that fuels me. with so much transparent stain work under my belt over the past ten years, working with paint is a cinch. there have been several areas on this particular job site where taping off made a bit of sense. and this is where my lesson about nothing took place. the roses appeared. i stopped and took a sniff.
It’s like this: When I pull tape,(Duct, Duck, Goose, Masking, Bar, Packing, Athletic, Electric, Scotch, and the like) I pull the tape with my right hand, and hold the roll with my left.
Whoever started the rumors about Mexico being a dangerous place, was dead on. It is true. This place is dangerous, and I don’t see anyway around it. Examples:
I use an Osterizer every day. Sometimes twice. That would mean I clean it daily, and sometimes twice. Imagine having to do that. 75% of the time I give a little blood.
Wearing shoes or sandals around here is just no fun. It’s too hot for those kinds of restrictions. Barefoot is the only way to go, and I have the scars to prove it.
If you ain’t willin to get on the back of a moto carrying two surfboards, as a 12 year old speeds you off to La Punta, well then you ain’t goin‘ surfin. Slippery when sandy.
Collectivos are my main mode of transpo. Unless one is empty or near empty, I regularly stand barefoot on the rusted up bumper and hang on for dear life.
Throw in the hot, hot sun, the powerful surf and swarming rips, all the beautiful women, and the 10 peso Ice Cold Coronas, and you are flirting with danger my friends.