Skip to content

Pleasure to Pressure Point: Cancer vs the stoked

January 22, 2015

I’ve been able to get out in the water. Since they have added the promenade along Pleasure Point, more and more people keep washing up into the ocean from the shore. Tons of people scouring the beach and plucking up shells and sea glass and letting their dogs run free to use the tidal bed as their litter box. Middle schools now bring classes of over twenty to thirty kids on soft-topped boards to the break, most of them unsupervised and drifting. Couples carrying 99-dollar Costco foam boards to the beach: the guys usually pale, overweight or geeky, or have stupid beards and are Muppet heads, and their girlfriend is tatted up like an out-of-work circus performing (they probably met when they were both working and trying to draw a crowd barking for the Yak Woman. And then more and more women coming down, with hard, or and defiant looks like they’re in some Mountain Dew commercial, or lesbians trying too hard to find a girlfriend! And what’s funny, in the water the people who have the worst potty mouth are the women, who are the first ones to throw the F-bomb, snake you, or call you an A-hole (Really, with these people there’s no talking, they just launch at you. The guy’s tactic is to talk real friendly, engage in conversation, then act like they don’t see a wave, paddle to your left a the last moment and try to snake you.

They all need an audience, and if they can’t find one, they paddle out with a Go Pro on their board.

They catch the waves and shout to0 each other. They are on the beach collecting shells, riding their bikes out of the bike lanes and on the promenade.

They have everything but stoke.

I still had a good session, and a great work out ion the waves. A friend of mine who was diagnosed with throat cancer drives by in his truck and stops to say hello. The cancer advanced, if he wanted to fight it, and his vocal chords would be removed, and he’d have a hole in his throat. He didn’t want to lose his speaking voice, or have to avoid showering or give up surfing. He decided to stop treatment. A good-hearet and generous man too.

Now he can hardly speak, and he’s weak and can’t surf that much. He’s good with this choice. I don’t look atr him with pity. I look at his clear blue eyes with admiration. I’ve walked in those footprints, but left that world. But see it everywhere.

“Fred, I’m going  to get in the water soon, I get another shot for my back, so I’ll be out next week,” he said.My guess is, the cancer is weakening his entire body as it spreads. Cancer, the ultimate terrorist cell. When he spoke, my throat recoiled.His breath had a smell.

It was the smell of a dying old man’s breath.

He drove away.

I understood why all the unstoked could never touch mine.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: