Rory’s Rumblings: The Most Demoralizing Session Of My Life
“Utter carnage masquerading as a good time.”
Paddling out at Snapper was the most demoralizing session of my life. Back paddled on every wave, utter carnage masquerading as a good time. “The secret is, you can’t stop moving. If you wait for a wave you’ll never get one.” My blood pressure soared and I ended the session before I lost my shit at a random stranger.
I’ll surf again when I get back to Hawaii. A place where etiquette exists and good surf is actually fun. Because, Snapper, even small, is a truly amazing wave. Beyond rippable, cursed with a plethora of high talent locals.
But not knowing the lineup, unaccustomed to good-natured aggression at that level, left me feeling like a starving man forced to witness a banquet. Those around me were feasting, each time I brought food to my mouth a stranger slapped it from my hand.
Replacing food with beer to salve my ego was not a good idea. By the time we rolled out for the party at Fanning’s Balter Brewery, I was well on my way to truly fucked.
The Kai Otton Story played on the wall, I gave thanks to a god which does not exist for the presence of food to soak up the booze. I wasn’t feeling a burger but, god damn, it was good. Give Surf Burger a try if you’re ever on the Gold Coast, you won’t regret it.
The bodies created sweltering conditions, the noise level was unbearable due to my hearing implant. Ever since I had my hearing restored I’ve found female shrieks and pumping music to be, literally, physically, painful. A wadded up napkin jammed down my ear canal muffled the worst of it, but drew too many unwanted questions as to why, exactly, I had a bit of napkin hanging from my head.
We relocated to the Hurley party as it was running out of alcohol. A sad commentary on the state of affairs within the surf industry. I managed to swoop my way to the front of the line, grabbed two of the last remaining beers, watched Pyzel steal a six pack from behind the bar and scamper into the crowd against the protests of the bartender. Laughed along with the crowd as a small body slammed on the mini ramp and rose in tears.
John John doesn’t get a second to himself when he’s in public. I asked if it wore on him. The answer is, sometimes. “But it’s part of the job.” A statement saturated with resignation.
An opportunity to ditch the crew and hop a ride with a group of beautiful Brazilians presented itself. The decision to stay with staff, meet up with them later, was poorly considered.
Someone found a girl to spend the night with. Regaled us with tales the following morning of lines hoovered from cocks and games of naked chess. It could’ve been me, had I thought to bring shoes. But the young lady in a blue dress with whom I’d been holding hands, pretending to pay attention to her chirping opinions, was presented with the options of going into a bar or going home with the old man in slippers, and chose the former.
I tried explaining to the doorman that I live in Hawaii, haven’t worn shoes in years, didn’t even bring a pair with me, and so deserve a pass. He didn’t care. “You’re too pissed to come in anyway, mate.”
And I stumbled home alone, again.
I’m too old to live like this. Liver suffering from a decade too much of abuse. Woke up feeling like I was dying. My fairy godmother gifted me a small handful of pills that turned my morning from wretched to splendid.
The Aussie addiction to nicknames makes it hard to keep identities straight. Everyone is Jezza or Dozza or something slurred out so quickly I can’t catch it.
I now know more about the Tweed River Sand Bypass system than any other American. More than most Aussies. The staff was welcoming, project manager walked me through the science. They’re architects of the earth, shaping sand flow along the coast. I pity poor Dylan, forced to edit down my on-the-spectrum interest. Sam warned him that would happen.
“If I know Rory, he’ll get well into the weeds. Try to keep things brief so it can be used in the edit.”
We toured the facility, they turned it on so we could see the system go. Moving hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sand. Clearing the river mouth for boats, widening beaches and building sandbanks. It’s a thankless job, no way to satisfy everyone. Too much sand on the reef, too wide of a beach. The river mouth is narrow and boaties don’t like it. Everyone angry, all the time. No one understands that the damage was done decades ago. That the various interests involved are impossible to balance.
Despite all these factors they’re open and candid. Offer online info that boggles the mind when one considers it’s a government run project.
I’ve learned to love the Coffin brothers on this trip. Especially Parker. It’s a great name, one near and dear to me. He’s funny as hell, a bit crazy in the most positive fashion. Hearing him gush about an hour spent with Parko reminded me how young he is. Over the moon to talk boards and stories with a hero. Just a kid, unjaded. Surrounded by idols in a situation he’s earned.
With the contest over quickly and my role in any ongoing projects beyond rambling incoherently in text I got a blessed day free to myself. People watching and attempting to identify the birds. Ibises are strange. Turkeys roaming city streets is an experience I struggle to reconcile.
Dinner at the Twin Towers. Chicken schnitzel and gambling watching old white people dance. For all my vices I have no true love for laying a wager. Pissed away money on video roulette, struggled to understand the concept of betting on dog races. I’m a writer, not a mathmagician. Won fifteen bucks on a horse race, was unable to collect because the agent had closed.
We left as the Drop Music Festival ended and hordes of children descended on the streets of Tweeds Head. One girl walked by with the front of her skirt hiked up above her waist, digging madly at her crotch and complaining loudly about how badly her vagina itched. “I just shaved,” she proclaimed to the world.
I heard reports that others had seen her as well. It was, apparently, a complaint she’d chosen to share with the world.
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