Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Little Herb Make the Waves Nice

The other day, Saturday, I went surfing with a neighbor of mine. He’s around my age, but wisely spent his early twenties and mid-twenties buying real estate in blighted areas. Now that those areas have begun to gentrify, his property is seeing a great rise in value. He no longer works; he derives a livable income from his various rentals, and he owns all his property outright, from what I can deduce, so his cost of living is rather low. From all I’ve just said, you may get the impression that my neighbor is a wise person. Well, I don’t know about that. He’s savvy, that much I can say, but I don’t know how much wisdom one can accrue when they’re constantly baked out of their gourd.

What I haven’t told you about my neighbor will help fill in the picture a bit; he plays in reggae band (bass) and he’s got this wild mop of curls which blows all around his head. See, if you’re stoning, it’s important to have either long hair or sunglasses, something to obscure your eyes so you don’t look so totally baked to everyone else. Our boy takes care of this problem with a spectacular lid which eclipses all his other features. When we’re out surfing and the water pulls his hair back from his face, you can see that the guy is handsome, almost movie-star handsome, which is actually plausible, as his brother is a working actor in Hollywood. But our boy is an ardent and faithful follower of the bud. Ganja uber alles.

So everything in his life from his friends to his music to his fashions choices is dictated by how well it meshes with a state of constant and supreme bakeage. By his own admission he smokes at least twice a day, and on getting to know him a bit you do get the impression that he’s not exaggerating. His house is in a constant state of disrepair and dishevelment, but I’m not sure he even sees it. I would like to know what it is he sees, how he experiences his life; it would be an interesting exercise.

But the neighbor, despite his constant tokeage, does have a plan for the future. When prices get high enough in the real estate market, he’ll sell out and move to Costa Rica. He’s got other tokemaster friends who have taken this path and are already set up in a villa near some killer break, running a Bed and Breakfast or some other touristy concern centered around surfing and the tropical lifestyle, which, I’m sure, includes the cultivation of a few acres of danky buds somewhere in the rainforest. Yes, the neighbor dreams of Costa Rica and why not? A person could dream of far worse things. I wouldn’t mind living there myself, only without the benefit of constant stoneage, I might get bored. I remember clearly that getting high makes things much more interesting. If I were baking, I could move to Costa with one DVD and an old Nintendo system with one game and be fine. I’d bake up in the morning, go surf, come back, take a couple of bong tokes, watch my DVD of “Turner and Hooch”, and play a nice game of Mario. Every day. Never changing. Every day blowing up on some deep Pacific pulses. You know what? Forget the weed, I’ll take that life sober.

I surfed with this guy on Saturday. The wind was blowing hard offshore and the waves were not over a foot and a half, breaking six or seven feet offshore. Mini-tube shorepound. Hardly worth paddling out. But we get out there, my neighbor and I, and he’s going on and on about how “epic” it is, about what a “treat” it is. I watch him take off (he only rides longboards, natch) into one of these little schroffers, and he ducks under the lip, rides about ten feet, and comes paddling out yelling, “I got tube!”

I hardly knew what to do. I was so amused by his attitude that I decided to try to have fun with the little waves, too, but I was mystified by his constant declarations that we were really getting a “treat” out here in the waves today. Finally it hit me – this is what it’s like to surf when you’re baked. If < 2 feet is epic, what’s it like to paddle out in a pumping swell? I can’t even imagine what it would be like to get stoned and paddle out into triple overhead reef break.

Anyway, we surfed for an hour or so. I ducked into some minitubes and of course I had fun (there’s no such thing as a bad session – well, unless you break something or get bitten by a shark). When we were coming in the neighbor invited me to go see “Brokeback Mountain” with him and his girlfriend. Total non-sequitur…just said this out of the blue, as I was leaving:
“Dude. Want to go see Brokeback, dude? Me and my girl are going. Brokeback. Want to go see Brokeback, dude?”
I declined. I hope my neighbor decided to re-bake before he went.

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