“How to Blow a Good Thing”

Surf AddictWell let me just preface this next little journey with the fact that I got a little more time. Last week I had my second heart attack within the last 5 years. I’m almost 53 years old. I think it’s a hereditary thing. I caught it in time, had a second stint installed and I have been taking it easy. I’m walking 4 to 5 miles a day as usual and playing some golf. The weather here in Southern California has been absolutely beautiful the first part of February. So I’ve been out there in it!
So with my ipod playing one of my favorite songs, “Indigo is Blue” by Catherine Wheel….

So here I was living on the waters edge in a really cool funky beach colony with new friends a good job, money in the bank, a cool ride everything is perfect. Except I have an addictive personality, watch me blow it!

I was working nights at Northrup Aviation my shift was three o’clock in the afternoon till midnight. I had been working this shift for about a year but when I finally moved to the coast all I ever wanted to do was surf. I live in an area of Southern California that has some of the most pristine world class point breaks in the world, not to mention the sandy beach breaks just a few minutes drive south. It is paradise. If only you could see the sunset out my window right now! But I digress. It was my exposure to this new environment that made me want to never leave it. You see as a surf addict when the waves are good you don’t want to go or do anything but surf. Even if that thing is work. Oh the dreaded “WORK” why oh why
do we have to work? To pay the bills. But I didn’t know that part yet. I started missing more and more days from work until….I got fired.

On the night I was fired I wasn’t disappointed but I knew deep inside that this wasn’t good. I just sorta pushed it aside and said to myself “I got some bucks stashed, no need to panic.” For about two months things went great. I surfed when there were waves. Hell I even surfed when there wasn’t any waves. I hiked and explored the back country of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. I went sailing regularly with my friend Craig. I went to parties in the U.C.S.B. college town of Isla Vista. Life was good. Then the rent came around again.

I was $150 short on the rent that month. I was out of my savings. I needed to find some work. Then my friend and neighbor Bruce said “Hey Keith how would you like to be my helper laying carpet?.” “Sure I need to make some money.” I said “OK we start Monday morning at 9:00 be down at my house.” “Great, thanks Bro” I replied. Now laying carpet is a tough job but I got good at it and for awhile things were going pretty smooth. Then the work started slowing down as it always did toward the winter season and I was no longer needed. Once again I was short on my rent. No I wasn’t short I just didn’t have it. Well that month we got our eviction notice to move out in 30 days. I let myself down. I let my roommate the Antman down. I was losing paradise. Then I decided to sell my VW panel bus so I could get some money. I sold it for $1200 and bought a 65 Chevy pickup truck for $500. Then instead of looking for a job I surfed for a month before I had to move out.

I had $500 left in my pocket two weeks before moving. Antman and a friend of his had found a 3 bedroom house just up the road on the other side of PCH in the little coastal hamlet known as La Conchita California. I didn’t know if I would be included as a roommate after the debacle I had created at the last place. I asked Antman and Dave if I could move in with them and occupy the third bedroom. I knew that my $500 would ease the burden of the deposit and first months rent. They reluctantly said OK as long as I got a job pronto! So now it was three. We were not on the waters edge anymore but we did have an ocean view and we could see Rincon Point right off our front deck. I had bought myself another month and now I was broke. I didn’t even have money for petrol. I was beginning to live the same way I had lived on the Rock one day at a time with no concern for the future. Que Sera Sera…

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