Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I've got my hungry pants on...

Posted by revolutionaire. at 6:24 AM
Random Photo Tuesday is becoming a flop. But it shouldn't because I actually have fun writing those blogs...

Anyway, I didn't do one this week, because I knew I had this blog to write. Now, in all honesty, if I'd have been less euphoric, I probably could have written this on Tuesday and it could have counted as a RPT blog, but I wasn't. And I didn't. So whatev.

By now, if you've got any other affiliation with me (facebook, whatever), you probably know I went to the beach on June 20. But please, allow me to tell you the story.

Originally written on 6/25

About a month ago I got a phone call from Gary; it's been about eight months since I last talked to him. Why does that hurt? Because before October of last year, which is when he moved, we were seeing each other four or five times a week -- and spending quality time together, at that.

I kept saying I'd make the time to come see him, but I never expected my summer to be as busy as it's been, and I've yet to find a weekend that I didn't have any plans.

So a month ago or so he called me up and we talked for maybe half an hour, then he got off the phone and called back again later and we talked for maybe another twenty minutes or so. In that time, he told me he was going to be back in town in June.

Gary and I have been friends since 1991. We were in the same class (we were in the gifted class) from my first grade year through eighth I think. There's a lot of history there. I've written about the history here, if you need to catch up.

This isn't about history. This is about me seeing him for the first time since last October. He called last month, said "I'll be at the beach, you better be too." And, and this is why I believe in God, the weekend he was able to be at the beach just so happened to be the ONLY weekend I didn't already have something scheduled. Thank you, God.

I drove out to the beach on Saturday morning by myself, with some granola bars, a couple waters, a towel and some dry clothes. I was only going to spend the day.

I got to the room, Steven and Sam were up there. I visited with them, looked down onto the pool deck for Mom (Margie), but couldn't find her, so I headed toward the beach. I laid my towel down in the sand, got sunscreened-up and laid down. It was nice. Hot, but nice. I felt instantly relaxed with my towel over my face and my Irish legs roasting in the late morning sun. A few minutes of that and I had to take a dip in the ocean to bring my temperature back down. Minutes after returning to my towel, I got a call from Travis. "We're on the pool deck, come on up."

So up I went, this was the first time I saw Gary. Just as I suspected, there was no awkward 'hello,' just a powerful, quick, effective hug and an "I miss you, man" from him to me. Yes, he calls me 'man,' sometimes 'dude' happens, and on rare occasions, 'bro' slips out. And he means them all from the bottom of his heart.

Tim, Travis, Gary, and myself headed back to the room so they could get suited up and we could all go for a swim. Again, I'm totally one of the dudes. (No, I didn't see and wieners.) But I did learn that some guys go commando under their swim trunks and some don't... apparently not going commando helps prevent chaffing. Nice little tidbit I wouldn't have been privy to if I somehow fell into the 'girl' category.

We head back down. Me with my tote under my arm, with a couple bottled waters, two towels, my sunglasses, sunscreen, iPod, camera, and phone in it, them with their towels slung around their necks ... it became apparent that, despite the 'dude' status, I am definitely a girl.

We chatted with Mom for awhile on the pool deck and got the boys all sunscreened up and then headed to the beach. We laid my tote and one of my towels on the ground. They thought I was a genius for bringing two towels so I could lay one down so the other wouldn't get sandy.

Didn't take long before we were all in the water, body-surfing the waves back into shore, and catching up on all the stories we hadn't been together to tell in awhile. I couldn't, at the time, recall a happier recent moment in my life. Is that sad? I don't really think so.

We swam for what seemed like just a minute -- because time for me goes by so fast when I'm trying to catch up with people. Then we waded back in to play horseshoes. I realized I'm terrible at horseshoes. Which is totally bizarre considering I'm a bowler and it's the same general concept -- swing your arm, release, follow-through. I failed. Miserably. But at least toward the end I started to make up for my shitty beginning. Made me realize I need to practice my horseshoe tossing skills.
Perk to playing horseshoes with the boys: You get to throw like a girl and it's totally acceptable.

Plus, Gary's the biggest source of motivation EVER. "You got this. Great job! Just throw another one just like that for me!" HAHAHA. I almost died from all the sugar he was laying on me in an attempt to help me help him win this lost cause of a game. I think the score was something like 12 to 3 for the longest time. Although I did begin to make a comeback.

Near the end of the game, I was completely disinterested. Not because I didn't enjoy horseshoes (because I'm actually considering getting some for our yard), but because I was so damn hot in the sun and my feet were on fire from the sand that all I could think about was getting back in the water. So as soon as the game was over, we did just that.

The boys did some more body-surfing and then we went to the room to get lunch. Mom had bought sandwich stuff so we went to town making clubs while we watched TV in the hotel room. It wasn't very long before Gary and his mom suggested I stay the night. With Steven and Sam headed home, there'd be room for me in a bed; I thought about it awhile, and ultimately decided I needed to. There wasn't going to be another chance like this in a long time.

Tim left after lunch some time. I walked down with him and he gave me the parking pass for his car (yay for not getting towed before I got the pass) and I realized I really don't spend enough time with that kid. There were several times in the water that Gary and Travis would surf back in and Tim and I would just swim around waiting for them to get back. And in those times, we had some quality conversations.

(Tim... let's hang out. Burgers, my place, some day, be there.)

Later, when it was down to me, Gary, Travis, and Mom, we went to rent movies from Block Buster. Somehow we also decided fishing would be a good idea so when we returned from BB, the boys and I got dressed (since my bathing suit was all I brought with me other than my go-home clothes, I just put on my dry shorts and wore my top) and drove to Ponce Inlet to fish.

And I was excited.

I volunteered to ride in the backseat of the Camaro. Even though my legs are retardedly long, I made it work. We listened to Rise Against (because what else would I ever listen to in the company of the two boys who I will always associate with Rise Against? I guess that's another story all it's own) and I kept thinking about how different I feel listening to Rise Against with them versus anyone else, or by myself.

We got to Ponce Inlet and Gary baited my hook with a shrimp from a bag someone had given us on the way from the car. Then I climbed out onto the rocks, relearned to cast, and went to town... waiting for fish to bite. It was so cool too. I wasn't catching anything though, so I moved a little further down, recast, and waited again. After a few tries like this, my bobber disappeared. Travis and Gary got all excited and I started to reel it in and Travis yelled "set your hook!" So I yanked back as hard as I could and started reeling and then he said, "wait, wait... what's going on??" I gave him the pole and at that moment, we all realized about the same exact moment my hook was on a rock.

Even still, that was the most excitement any of us got from fishing. But we still had a blast, it doesn't matter what we're doing together. When we switched fishing sites for the last time, I stopped fishing and took pictures. Here's one of my boys in the tide:

Ponce Inlet, by the way, is the Shark Bite Capital of the World. It claimed it's first victim of the year (a 17-year-old girl) in March. Wonder why I'm not swimming?

I took some other random ass pictures of the sunset:



And the water and rocks:


And then when they were about done fishing, I playfully held up the camera and said something along the lines of 'time for a group shot, boys.'

Couldn't be happier with the way this one came out:


On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the 7/11, got some snacks and drinks, and then headed back to the hotel to watch movies (Strangers and Yes Man). We were at a light on SR-40 and some guy in a '90s Mustang starts revving his engine... impressive. He dropped gears and peeled out, spinning his tires while driving like 30mph. Is that even possible? Purely insane.

When we rounded the corner of the hall to our room, the door was propped open. I was in front of Gary and Travis. Gary quickly grabbed my arm, walked in front of me, and pulled the door the rest of the way to see his mom cooking dinner on the stove. Apparently she had set the smoke detector off, so she had the door and the sliding glass doors wide open for ventilation. We all scolded her a little for having her hotel door wide open, at night, ALONE!

Once we were all changed for the night, we ate our dinner and then and proceeded to watch Strangers with all the lights off, shades drawn and doors locked. Travis was laying next to me on the bed, Gary was in the chair on the other side of me and Mom was in the other bed. And any time anything scary happened, we ALL screamed like girls. HAHA. At one point, I even jumped and covered my eyes. Scary movies aren't my thing.

After watching Strangers, Travis went to sleep because he had to be up at 4AM to spend the next day with his dad; Mom also went to sleep. Gary and I finished Yes Man and then we both went to sleep. About four hours later, Travis was up and getting ready to leave. The alarm also woke me up. And me being awake woke Gary up. I was laying in bed and he got up to go to the bathroom. When he came out, I had my eyes closed in bed, he bumped into the wall and it made a sound similar to the sound of the "Strangers" knocking at the door in the movie. I sat up real quick, asked if it was him that made the noise and then determined I wouldn't be falling back to sleep. Like I said, scary movies aren't my thing.

So we got up. We drank some OJ and eventually made our way to the balcony to watch the sunrise. It was damn sure beautiful (see the first picture of the post). We saw the start of a triathlon, three guys surfing, and one guy attempting to fish, but catching nothing.

I was so perfectly content to sit on the balcony hardly talking, admiring the sun, and wondering if anything like this would ever happen again. Then around 7AM we decided surfing needed to happen. I got dressed, went down to the lobby for a toothbrush, charged my cell phone in the car, got my camera and memory cards, and met Gary on the beach. Where, for almost two hours, I proceeded to photograph him surfing. For the first time in all the years he's surfed, he's never been photographed.

A handful of people walked by, the occasional person would stop and chat. One guy even asked who was having more fun. Initially I said we were having equal fun, but I realized quickly that I was having more fun because he wasn't having much luck with the shit for waves the ocean was producing. Still, I could tell it felt good for him to be out there, alone, happy, and watching the sun still coming up.

After a while, we called the surfing quits and headed back to the room for breakfast. After breakfast, we packed up the room and Mom, Gary and I all went down to the ocean for one last swim. After that, it was essentially time to check out. And that means, it's pretty much the end of the story. Not nearly as fun to retell as it was to live. I imagine it's not nearly as fun for you to read about either.

For fun, here are some of the surfing shots.







2 comments on "I've got my hungry pants on..."

Samsmama on July 10, 2009 at 12:04 PM said...

I'm so glad you went and got to spend some quality time with good friends. Hooray for spending the night! You've been so busy lately you definitely needed the mini vacation. Excellent pictures!

revolutionaire. on July 14, 2009 at 5:44 AM said...

Thanks lady, on all counts! You're the best.

 

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