Reccomended Soundtrack: New Order 'The Beach' remix of Blue Monday.
Sat night: I'm at Holocene listening to some Euro house music drinking Spaten with a few friends. Up until that point my weekend was going well. Just another surfless winter weekend for Foul Pete. An indoor skate at a nearby ramp followed by beers with the lads at a 'too cool for school' night spot. Then my friend Tony introduces me to his friend who is visiting from Bordeaux. I once spent a night sleeping rough in Bordeaux, to soon realize that the park I had chosen was somewhat of a local cottage, if you know what I mean. Anyway, Brewce from Bordeaux seemed cool. The wife and I had been discussing open relationships the previous evening and basically she had given me the OK to seek sex with another partner, if it was a man. Now, I've never been with another man (although, I came pretty close that night in Bordeaux) but after several pints of Spaten, Brewce was looking pretty good. Somehow, we got to talking about surfing and he asked me about the famous Seaside Point. Brewce made frequent trips to Lacanau when he was back in Bordeaux to bodyboard. He said he also took the odd trip to Hossegor and Mundaka across the border in Spain. By the way he talked he had handled some pretty serious lefts at Mundaka, so I suggested we hit the point the next day but warned him as a bodyboarder he was not going to be welcomed. Brewce grinned at me, "So Pierre, you like cocaine?" "Ah, I'm not sure, Brewce, I've never tried it." Like homosexual intercourse, I had indeed never tried cocaine, also unlike homosexual intercourse it was not because I'm opposed or not curious. To cut a long story very short, after a coke fuelled night, Brewce and I made plans to get up at 6AM and hit the surf Sunday morning. Sun morn: I'm feeling pretty horrendous. I'm shaking, cold and I have a pounding headache. I wouldn't want to surf even if six foot perfection and light offshores were breaking on my doorstep. Brewce arrives at 5:55Am five minutes early. I'm already dreading speaking to the Frenchman I was flirting with last night. I had briefly updated the wife on he situation when I got in a mere few hours ago. She was not cool with the coke taking but she was more than curious to meet Brewce. Basically, she wants me to cop off with a bloke so she can get the 'OK' to fulfil her lesbian fantasies. Immediately, she invites Brewce and starts conversing with him in fluent French. I moan, "Brewce, let me just grab my board and my wettie and we can go.' He replied, "No no Pierre, I have spare boards, its cool lets go man." "Brewce, I'm not sponging, if that's what you mean." "No, bro, I have the perfect board for today's conditions, lets go." In Brewce's truck, I ask if he minds that I sleep and I promptly fall asleep before I hear his reply. I wake up. We are not at Seaside Point. Far far from it. "What the fucK are you playing at you dirty Frenchman?" I say as I try to take in my alien surroundings. "Ha ha chill Pierre. It is going to be classic." "fucK no Brewce! This is sick and twisted. You have to ask my freakin permission before you attempt to pull this type of thing on me. This isn't France, Brewce. C'mon I'm European, I'm pretty open-minded but this is America we are in. You can't just do this to a bloke like me." "Grab this and shut up." He replied and handed me my 'board' for the day. Well, I'd like to round of this story by telling you I hated it and I'm never going to snort coke with Frenchmen that I am semi-attracted to ever again but I would be lying. The truth is snowboarding was pretty fun and the conditions were bloody great. We were first in line for untracked powder and you can't beat that. Yes, I'm alive. Yes I'm confused. But I like it.
The weekend was to be simple enough. Camp, surf, skate for three nights wherever the wind blows (or not) along the Oregon Coast. Friday, I awoke at noon. I was hoping to dust off my tent, pack my gear and maybe meet SmithG and Hap at an uncrowded surf break somewhere. I checked the forecast and Saturday's conditions looked toilet so I opted out of camping and offered to drive Smith and Hap instead. No time to shower and wearing the same clothes since the wife had left town, I picked up Smith and we were on our way to pick up Hap in Beaverton. After enduring an hour and half of listening to Happy complain about my stench, I still let him choose the first location for our surf check. Of course it was a wash. Heading south on 101 we spied a sweet looking peak and took the 'private' road down to it. It looked pretty tasty but their certainly was an ominous 'feel' about the place. Hap is dubious about how I can 'feel' the spookiness of a place but he still voted no. SmithG was amped to tackle the peak by a crab pot. I was game to see if Hap would make good bait but somehow consensus was made to head South to Sloppies. It wasn't that bad. I just wanted some alone time in the water and so ran down the beach by myself and paddled out to commune with nature and wash my man stench away, while the other Pikers leisurely got changed. The bastards paddled for my peak but there was enough to go around. Hap regretted putting his gloves on and so paddled in to take them off. I'm glad he did as the waves got good for the twenty minutes he was gone. It was fun to watch him struggle back out as we caught the best waves of the session. Even though conditions were far from epic, we were stoked that it was so uncrowded. Then the crowds closed in from north and south. Dudes on fancy quads, fishes, thrusters and what have you began forcing a competitive atmosphere in the mediocre surf. Disgusted I paddled north to a shittier peak to watch the sky and birds and think about how little I am. Luck was on my side as a thumping peak popped up and allowed me into a few fun waves. Of course the snarling masses soon followed me. By 9:15pm it was getting dark but I managed to ease into one more fun right. On the beach Smith and Hap were already drinking MY beer, St Peter's Lager, no joke. I reached for my tinny and saw that the fu cker had exploded in my backpack. Hap and Smith laughed as they quaffed down the remainder of their tins. Starved and thirsty, they convinced me to go and get a meal at The Lumberyard, a lame bourgeoisie establishment. They had called last order by 10:15PM. Yeah Cannon Beach going OFF!!! Hap said he knew of some places in Seaside. I'd let him do enough decision making that day said we're going back to the land of the living. We were in Dots by 12:15PM, I was glad to finally be drinking a pint of filth while Hap and Smith were drinking pints of filthier. We were listening to experimental punk rock and Smith and I engaged ourselves in a great conversation about the hooliganism of youth and how it felt so good to FSU at age sixteen. Hap's attitude took a turn for the worse and he zoned out, rolling his eyes as Smith and I took turns in relaying our crowning achievements in vandalism. Turns out we both loved to slash random car tires and steal emblem signs of VWs, Mercs etc. Him in Italy, me in Bahrain. But Hap continued to drag me down, so we called it a night by 2PM. Saturday, the surf looked shite and the skateparks were drenched. I had an empty house, a fridge full of St Peter's Lager and New Order's 'Substance' on the stereo. I figured, I'd drink coffee all morning and then switch to beer at noon while seeing what kind of nonsense I could hack out on this very keyboard. By 10:00pm I was bored. It was the first time in along time that I had been home alone. Sitting naked in my favorite chair wasn't actually as liberating as I thought it would be. So I called up SmithG under the pretence that I needed Hap's phone number but secretly hoping he was dialed into some wild happening that evening. No go. 10:15pm I resigned myself to getting drunk by myself and maybe watching 'Wings of Desire' for the 80th time. Then the phone rang. Cool, its SmithG calling back. I looked at the caller ID and my heart sank. It was 'Brewce.' 'Blue Monday' was cranking on the stereo. I could have refused to answer but I know he would have been knocking on my door within the hour. I pulled on my boxer shorts. I didn't feel like talking to Brewce while nude, even if it was over the phone. "Hey Pierre, Mon Frere, what's 'appening man?"
"Brewce, I thought you were in Peru, bodyboarding?"
"Just got back, man. What are you up to?"
"Nothing. Family's out of town. Just having a chill evening. You?"
"Alone eh?" He continued.
"Hey how were the waves?" I asked.
"Ahh, muuuusssshyy. Lots of looooong point breaks but I couldn't find the fucking barrel man. You know how I love the barrel."
"I do Brewce. I really do." "You wanna go out tonight?"
Christ. I could have said no, I suppose. Sure he would have insisted but I'm sure I could have backed out. I looked around my house. There was laundry that needed folding, a dirty cafetiere, crushed cans of St Ps, my empty notebook and my naked self. Pitiful.
"What do you have in mind Brewce?"
Brewce and I agreed to meet at Apothec, a trendy Scandinavian bar of NW Glisan and 18th. Its real, you should go. I cycled across town in the rain and walked up the stairs into the minimalist surroundings of the bar. Euro beats were blasting with trippy visuals projected onto a huge screen. Brewce walked up to me and gave me a big man hug and introduced me to his friends, some of whom I already knew. We got the pleasantries quickly out of the way and I began sampling the specialist liqueurs. They had liqueurs made from all manner of spices and herbs. Even one made from the Doug Fir tree. Within an hour Brewce and his crew were my best friends and Apopthec was the greatest place on the planet. The music was pumping, we were discussing, music, art, open relationships and revolution. I forgot that I was a 31 year old family man who was neck deep in social service bureaucracy. I forgot about my weekly surf trips with the Pikeys. I was at the center of the Universe. Brewce and I looked at each other across the table, nodding to the beats, I communicated a big non verbal
"Thanks man" to him.
He broke into a grin and screamed, "Piiieeeerrrrreeee!"
It was great. 2PM the bar is shutting down but we aren't. Drew drew, one of Brewce and I's mutual acquaintances invites us back to his house in NE. We all crammed into this beat up VW and drove to Drew drew's communal house in NE. There was myself, Brewce, Drew Drew, Craigy, Grizz, Becks and Zoë. I was very drunk at this point and couldn't bring myself to drink anymore after four cans of ST Ps, two glasses of red wine and about four wild Scandinavian mystery liqueurs. I sat down and the vibe significantly diminished. I was beginning to wish I had just gone home, to get a reasonable night's sleep and check the waves again in the morning. As we all sat slumped in the dimly lit living room, Brewce reached into his pocket and pulled out a little baggy with some off white powder in it. He looked at me and said, "From Peru."
I really should have just made my way home at that point. "All natural." He continued.
Apparently, he had some ground up bark from some tree or another that people smoke and snort in South American countries. Either way, it was not for me. Brewce, prepared a crack pipe with the powder and began helping people take hits. Grizz was first. He took a deep hit and then slumped in the chair and zoned out with a big grin on his face. They told me it was an immediate intense high, possibly psychedelic but didn't last very long. Next thing I knew the glass pipe was in my mouth and Brewce is heating the end of it with a mini blow torch. I inhaled as the powder burned and wave of ecstasy over took my whole body. It was very physical. Suddenly I was very sober and alert and then the visuals kicked in. There were about five minutes of intense 'rushing,' tingly arms and legs. I watched the plants in the room try to communicate with me. Brewce went around the circle again and on my second hit I kept my eyes closed. I saw diamond patterns, greens and blues, swirling around. I was dead but it was nice. Then I felt Miki Dora channeling me. Miki said to me without words,
"Its fiery beauty is as hard to account for as is its origin in the volcanoes that turned night to day in the Proterozoic Period. They are splinters of a mirror that simmered a hundred million years ago. In their blue-white heart is the broken image of our Earth as it existed at its birth. When you hold this gemstone you're holding a fragment of the basic element of our planet."
Dora showed me the skeleton coast of Namibia and how rogue waves of unimaginable magnitude had wrecked hundreds of ships up and down the coast. He told me off diamond mines and right hand waves that far surpassed J Bay. He told me I was the whitest of Vikings who needed to go to Africa, to learn what it means to be a surfer, what it means to be a human being. 9Am this morning, Sunday. I'm naked, at home, in bed. The phone is on my pillow. Stupidly I answer it. It's Hap.
"Pete the surf sucks again but I'm down if you are."
"Hap, let me call you back, I had a heavy night."
"Cool." I put my head back on the pillow to go back to sleep but I could hear "Blue Monday" faintly pumping away on the living room stereo. I smelled bacon cooking on my vegetarian only pan.
"I see a ship in the Harbour," Brewce is singing as he fries his bacon.