It’s pouring outside. Not Seattle style drizzle but the type of cloudburst that is going to crystallize into hail any minute.
Last time this happened in my little corner of SoCal, I raced out into it concerned only about saving a few bucks on BMW dent removal and got pinged squarely on a middle toe.
Calculate a quarter-sized piece of ice and the velocity with which it drops from the heavens.
Add to this the stabbing pain of glass-like urchin shards still in my big toe from surfing in Maui and the broken baby toe on my other foot and you’ll get a sense of the troll-like lurching movements that commenced.
Of course my cute neighbor was watching from his window as I rolled and hitched my way out from under the carport.
He yells to me– “Any dents?”
How about you stop worrying about my car and worry about me?
Get over here and carry me up the rest of these stairs. Any minute I’m going to get dinged in the head. Which reminds me-
Mama’s Fish House rises up on my left.
If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. The food is absolutely delish.
I didn’t actually find this out until years later when I came back to Maui with my husband. On this particular trip, I was reduced to a couple power bars in the car, pineapple tidbits and a Diet Coke. The usual.
The lot is full and I’m guided toward the valet– a surf valet? If they’re going to carry my board down the craggy rocks I can understand why the North Shore holds such allure.
Of course I’m in the wrong place.
Ho’okipa is up the road. Can’t miss it.
I’m picturing a dirt road that cuts quickly off the highway, etched as deeply into the cliffs as Hawaiian surf lore and as difficult to find for a haoule as heaven for an atheist.
Sort of like the Blue Room on the North Shore of Kauai.
Or Trestles, one of the top ten surf spots in the world that breaks in my own backyard against the shore of Camp Pendleton Marine base. Without a military I.D., it can only be reached on foot. Most locals park along the various side roads and hike the near mile in.
It is, apparently, worth it. I wouldn’t know.
By contrast, there’s no way to miss Ho’okipa.
I crest the hill to a roadside jammed with all manner of vehicles criss-crossed with racks, straps and fins. Lean bodies snake through the vehicles bearing backpacks and boards, headed toward a flutter of flags along the half mile park as if advertising the United Nations of surfing. Or rather, kite surfing.
As I will soon see, surfers are relegated to an area the size of a corner pocket on a pool table. Here, kite surfers and wind surfers dominate, and for good reason. Ho’okipa is arguably the premier kite surfing destination in the world and today–
Yes, I could’ve just consulted Google or a guidebook but in that respect, I’m part dude.
I kinda like discovering things on my own.
Someone is lurking.
Seattle: STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN
That’s the problem writing in a crowded airport. Some days are like a freeze-frame in Vanilla Sky where I feel hyper-exposed, as if the whole room is waiting to see what I’ll write next…
“You don’t look anything like Tom Cruise,” says Vanessa. She leans back and crosses her coltish legs. The room pauses.
Vanessa met her husband at her first runway show. I’d hate her but she’s been married for fourteen years and hasn’t had sex with her husband for nine. She suspects he might be gay.
“Is. Is gay,” she corrects. “Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?”
Grace stirs her double-mocha-no-whip. “We’re having our issues too. I think we’ve had sex five times in like, three years and when we do it’s like Animal Kingdom. I’m like, can we just get this over with?”
Crystal laughs. “At least it lasts long enough for you to think that. Premature ejaculation. Story of my married life. It was like, ‘Whaat? That’s it?”
I nod. “Exactly.”
This is the one consolation I have that it didn’t work out with him.
The knowledge that he lasts as long as a Superbowl commercial is sure to reveal itself in a smug little smirk should I ever have the pleasure of running into his new wife.
We fall silent, thinking.
Now it’s no secret that today’s flight attendant is more apt to look about as enticing as your elementary school principal but this little round table in the Seattle marketplace is one hell of an exception.
Grace is a petite brunette with striking blue eyes and Crystal — I would hawk oranges on Sunset Boulevard for her thick, wavy blond hair. It’s no wonder the whole room pauses every time one of them gestures.
Vanessa uncrosses her legs.
Grace sips her mocha.
Crystal shakes her hair.
The room pauses.
If this is the experience of four women sitting in a small corner of the pool table of the universe, what is the collective experience of women world-wide?
“Sexless in Seattle,” says Vanessa.