Tuesday, August 9, 2011
A Typical Tsunami in the Life of a Writer.
Not much has been happening out here. Except yesterday I was out surfing when I saw a tsunami towering on the horizon. I swam out to catch the wall and caught it right in the curl. What a ride. I didn’t know how far it was going to take me, but I saw the tip of the San Francisco pyramid peaking out of the water as I flashed by. After a few hours I saw the Rockies looming ahead and that’s where the tsunami finally broke. I think I might have been crushed in the break if I hadn’t been lucky enough to get tossed onto a ski slope. I flashed down the slope at about 120 miles per hour. When I got off it took two miles to slow me down with sparks flying off the bottom of my surfboard. I finally stopped on the outskirts of Denver, pretty exhausted and hungry from my ride. I decided to abandon my surfboard with much regret--all that was left of it was the logo. I walked into Denver as the sun was setting, feeling pretty foolish in my wetsuit. I had no money with me, so I spent the night in a mission where the preacher preached about Little Orphan Annie, then gave us some cold grass soup and a slippery plastic hammock. The next morning I tried to hitchhike back west, but nobody would pick me up. I decided it was because of the wetsuit. So I pawned the wet suit for $10 and ran in my swim trunks to the thrift store, where I bought some plaid pants and a polka-dotted shirt. Then I found a grocery store, but only had enough money left for a can of beans. Still no luck with the thumb! So I walked to a train yard and hopped into an empty boxcar on a train pointing west. I had been savvy enough to gather wood for a fire before I got in the boxcar, and also picked up a newspaper for kindling. You know, it was that special edition New York Times in which the Republicans and Democrats both admitted to vast corruption and resigned, handing the government over to Venezuela. I used that paper to start a fire on the steel floor, and warmed up the car as the freight trained rolled west. I ate my beans, dangling my legs out the door and thinking philosophically. In the morning I was in the Oakland freight yards and only had to swim across the bay to get back home. Otherwise, nothing much has happened here.