Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 17: Discord among the ranks…

busWoke up with “The Ballad of John and Yoko” in my head this morning. Thinking of the guy in Portugal, dreamed about him, maybe someday we’ll do that. I’m different now and so to must he be. Success as a writer can only go so far to carry one on. Someone to share it with seems a better place. I know someday I’ll see him.

Three flat tires, a “busted” gas tank and three days later we’re sitting at a long “left-hand point” a couple of hundred miles north of Cabo San Lucas. A steel-framed lighthouse and a plywood shack are the only “Civilisation.” Should’ve been to Cabo by now but the ocean gave us another incredible swell. I’m what they call a “goofy-foot” which means I surf with my right foot forward. Here I can ride with my body facing the wave. Nice little waves on the inside cove here and I’m riding a 9’6” longboard and’ve begun being able to turn and ride down the line.

Note: The people here are extremely friendly and accommodating. Two fisherman drove all the way out into the middle of the desert, pulled our gas tank off and patched it with marine tar. Charged us five dollars then bought us beers with the money they made. One of their wives made us a drink called horchata from condensed milk with cinnamon and sugar added. They say it keeps you cool. I’d drink gallons of it in the summer.

Fish for dinner tonight. We traded a couple of beers for fish the size of small white sharks. Should mention the wonderful snorkeling on the gulf side. Stopped there a couple of days ago and paddled into the Bahia Concepcion (Bay of Conception). The water there is quite warm and the contrast between the watery world of the gulf and the outlying land seems an optical illusion. Jagged, dry and rocky peaks sweeping into a calm sea. Sand fleas are a nightmare there but Trent filled an empty can with stove fuel, lit it, and they all started to jump in and away from us.

Discord among the ranks. Went something like this:

“Livy’s mine man,” said Trent.

“Yours,” said Tristan.

“I mean my responsibility.”

“I was just trying to help her.”

“Look there’s a brother out there who’s waiting for her.”

“She’s not you’re goddamn fire hydrant man.”

“Just keeping an eye on her.”

“Well ease up. No one’s trying to move in.”

Chivalry, knights, none shining here, but desperate to help a damsel. Got pretty heated and Trent just about split. A few cervezas involved, good thing the Tequila’s gone, fire water.

They want to know what I know about the way women are. I told them all I know is what I know of myself really and that it was understandable to me why they would be confused by women. Most women don’t know what they want. The fuzzy line between being the woman that my mother was and what it is to be a woman now plays a part in it. I think most women still want, or still think they want, to be taken care of. Part of the problem is that with modern medicine and health we’re living an awfully long life compared with our ancestors and the prospect of a marriage lasting fifty or more years seems a bit daunting to most of us. When we weren’t expected to live past forty there must’ve been an intensity and imminence to procreation and child-rearing. People had children and died a short while after their children were old enough to have children. All this living has confused the issue and the rhythm. I told them to just hang out with women who were fun and didn’t expect much.

The guys keep saying “classic.” Has special meaning for them. If you look through early surf publications, California Surfriders 1946, early Surfer Magazine and they had me watch “Endless Summer” before the trip, you’ll start to get the idea. There’s a thread of simplicity that runs through all of them. Good surf, sun, a few friends and later, some good food and beer. Windansea and San Onofre were a couple of the early mecca’s. Thatched huts in the Hawaiian style, cars pulled right up on the beach, fish caught from the sea and maybe a lobster from a submerged reef, guitars and ukuleles. And more good surf, clean water, purity.

MX Beautiful BajaIt’s still here in the Mexico of 1979. Gone by the wayside for the most part in California since the 60s. Pockets of it here and there. But it’s everywhere in Mexico, a brotherhood and sisterhood of pura vida.

 

I envy the red ant of Baja,

though it cannot surf,

it doesn’t get stepped on

as much as I do,

in the city.

Trent’s poem. He’s a bit of a soft touch really. Needs a girlfriend but they’re all on the road so much, just got back from Australia by way of Hawaii. Surf contests and spreading the ambassadorial goodwill of their sponsors. If it weren’t for that guy in Portugal and my knowing, he’d make a good partner, terrible poet, but that could be helped.

Rob the photographer has a way of making things sour, bad attitude, sort of snobbish. Otherwise, the crew is good, the surfers. Traveled 1400 miles with them now, 150 to go for Cabo, then back again. Too much here that can’t be written, only experienced. Baja is a place.

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