I Don’t Feel Serious

And when I don’t feel serious, I write stories that I don’t plot. They just …

What if I were thin and could get a wet suit on without major surgery, and I just happened to be on Kauai.

She slid her right arm into the wetsuit, grabbed her board, and ran down the beach to the water’s edge (and for a 68 year-old woman with a knee replacement, that’s sayin’ somethin’). She dropped the board into the surf.

A golden-skinned surf bum yelled from beyond the ten-foot breakers. “You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?”

She yelled back. “First time.”

“You don’t need a wet suit in Hawaii. Water’s warm. Sharks will take you for a fish.”

She peeled the wet suit off. Man, she could have done this, thin or not. Think of the frozen yogurt she’d missed for nothing.

The surf bum scanned her granny swimsuit. “Lady, this is Hawaii, you don’t have to wear all the clothes you’ve got.”

She pushed her board out to knee-deep water and lay down on its shiny surface. “Hey, if you’re so smart. Teach me to surf.”

“Start paddling. Where you from?”

She was coming into the breakers. “California.”

“Duck your head, make sure your mouth and eyes are closed, and just hold onto the board.”

The breaker passed over her.

“Keep paddling. North, not south, right?”


“California, north, not south.”

She paddled up next to where he sat on his board, legs hanging in the water. “Central, but the water’s pretty chilly.”

“Ok, first get on your knees.”

“I can’t, one of them’s artificial and won’t bend that far.”

“Man, you got a lot of guts, lady.”

“You only live once. How about if I just stand up?”

“OK, your funeral.”

She grabbed both sides of the board and hoisted herself up. And lost her balance and fell off. Eighteen times.

The surf bum laughed so hard he had to take a swim to keep from embarrassing himself. I won’t go into the details. (You may be wondering whether this story has a point, I certainly am.)

“If at first you don’t succeed.” She climbed back on the board, and lo and behold, wait that doesn’t sound like Hawaii, and hang loose, baby, she stood and didn’t fall, though she wobbled like a weeble.

“Hurry, hold your arms out for balance and bend your knees a little. You can do that, right?”

She really wanted to tell him what she thought of that remark, but she didn’t want the lesson to end abruptly. She stuck out both arms and kind of waved them the opposite direction of the way she felt she might fall. She stayed on the board and standing, until …

A wave rushed her high, and she was flying. Dude, she screamed toward shore, literally. A 68 year-old speed demon. “Kayabunga!”

The beach was nearly at her feet when she realized he hadn’t taught her how to dismount. So, she recalled when she learned to ride a bike as a child that she just ran into the neighbor’s Japanese gardener who happened to be pushing a lawn mower down the sidewalk  when she needed to stop. (Yeah, that’s a true story.) Maybe she could just run right off the board, hoping to land on the couple making out on beach towels.

The End (I be laughin’)



Getting Out of Town

(This post is an article that didn’t sell, but I like it so here you go.)
The aluminum albatross/shark lumbers down one of San Francisco International Airport’s runways, her fin cutting raindrops, and hangs a left. Breathtakingly, she morphs into an eagle screaming into the stratosphere toward Puerto Vallarta (PVR), Mexico.  The sunseekers’ stress lifts with her climb.
About three and a half hours, a movie and a little light reading later, passengers gaze under thunderclouds at the green rainforest between the Sierra Madre and Banderas Bay. The eagle lands in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Passengers clear customs and take deep breaths before they navigate between the timeshare barracuda/buzzards caged inside taped-off floor areas. Pretending one is deaf works well. Outside, touristas head for white taxis whose natural air conditioning introduces visitors to PVR’s warm humidity. Comfort is now in the expert hands of the people of “mi casa es su casa,” who make every visitor’s whim their directive. Under coconut and banana palms, relax while the taxi races from Jalisco to one of the many resorts that have been meticulously researched, chosen and reserved online.
Paradise Village in the state of Nayarit, its Riviera catering to many international tourists, luxuriates just ten miles from the airport. Mayan-appointed Paradise Village can provide everything legal one might want. Their all-inclusive plan covers meals, drinks, boogie boards and kayaks. A fine Monkey Around under a pelapa (frond-roofed table with lounges and beach chairs) on the beach is relaxation personified. Continue reading “Getting Out of Town”