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Peeling away The Big C’s tentacles; suction cup scars.

June 11, 2016
It’s tough finding myself back in the riptide of The Big C. The way you escape a real riptide is not to resist it, until it lets you go, then swim back in. Well, there’s nothing that luxurious in the Big C’s riptide–its more like its tentacled tendrils are wrapped around you, attaching like some deadly clinging vine. And you have to rip and tear away each growth inch by quarter inch. Sometimes it doesn’t budge and you drift out, momentarily imprisoned in its grip, dazed, weakened, unable to taste what’s in your mouth, or focus on what’s around you–one time, late at night I went through a red light! Fortunately, no one was around–or a cop.
 
You just keep prying away, prying until the tentacle lifts up and leaves its suction mark on you.
 
On the beach I feel the heat and and sun on me as I reach down in the ocedan, kneepaddling my board to get stronger. I count to reach fifty strokes, exhausted by digging deeper until I reach the number. I reach 40, but refuse to stop, my arms weaken, but I keep digging and hit 50. Then lay on the board, gliding away from another of the Big C’s Tentacles and getting stronger by willing to become weaker.
 
Then I paddle into the beach, furiously digging, imagiing I’m trying to either get into a wave or paddle over a wave trying to take me out. I don’t stop until I almost run out of water in the shallows. Then I stagger out of the water, legs heavy, and sit next to the guys I usually surf with who are lounging in the sand in our cove on this perfect beach day.
 
“Yopu want any waater?” asks Driveway Dsave, who I think should be now called Dollar Store Dave because he’s always handing out gum and waters he purchased at the dollar store to people at the beach.
 
“I’m fine.”
 
Later, after visiting I have to leave.
 
“I want to help you, let me carry your board.”
 
“I’m okay,” I said, struggling on neuropathy-leaden legs (this conesd and goes). I realize, yeah, I do need help.
 
“Don’t be silly let me carry your board.”
 
So he does and I get back to my car, a couple surfers give me more money than I ask for on my CD.
 
A friend comes by and we talk about a guy who offered his help to me, but didn;t want to meet socially. one of the weird Pleasure Point locals.
 
“It’s okay if you need him, and he’ll be there, but if you want him, he won’t budge.”
 
Need and want, they should be the same interchangible thing between people, but personality gets in the way. I’ve learned to let that go so both have the same meaning to me and towards others.
 
A new day.
 
Another Big C tentacle peels away from me, danging like a dried and dead vine.
 
I snap it off.

 

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