Surfin’ USA

Mike getting ready for the water
Mike getting ready for the water

Saturday morning Rob is at our door. (Rob works with Mike at Auction Hunters.) He asked Mike to go surfing. Well, actually, he didn’t ask, he told Mike he had to do it. “You live in California. You need to take advantage of it.” I like this Rob character. We wake up, and Mike is more and more trying to get out of it. Rob keeps texting him. I tell him he should do it. Mike really is completely content doing nothing. And I get it because he works a lot, but for Christ’s sake, go outside every once in a while on your days off. WE LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. Rob is trying to bring him out, so I join the Rob cheerleading squad. “Why do you care so much?” Because he is willing to lend you a wetsuit AND a surfboard AND teach you how to surf! (And you should really do SOME sort of physical activity every once in a while.) And um, surfing is hot. “What? You think surfing is hot.” Yes. I do.

So, after Mike basically texts Rob “maybe” and really plans on not going, there is a knock at our door. I’m excited. Rob is really going to make Mike do this. Mike reluctantly opens the door and I stand behind him smiling in my boxers and t-shirt, drinking a cup of coffee. “Alright, you ready to go?” Mike is not. He laughs nervously, wanting to say no but not able to. Then Rob to me, “Hey beautiful, you put on a bathing suit and you can go with the girls to the beach.” Well, I wanted to go anyway, but since you called me beautiful…

Mike cannot say no. Rob says he’ll wait outside for us. Mike texts him that we’ll meet him there. Rob makes fun of him in some way, but I am already getting ready. I was just about to make us breakfast, so I do that. We don’t have to feel so rushed. Mike is not looking forward to this nearly as much as I am (fair enough, I’ll be laying on the beach while he’ll be getting his ass kicked by the ocean).

Less than an hour later we’re on our way to Rob’s – he lives in Santa Monica – a five minute drive (I went to the AH Christmas party here). We park and walk up to his (very nice) apartment (with a great view). His girlfriend Taylor is here, (whom I have met a couple times but don’t know very well/at all) and another friend (I of course forget her name). They are ready for the beach, so we head down. JJ is here – also works with Mike. JJ is funny. He is sort of like a hick but tries to be “gangsta” (like Count, for the very few of you who know Count). I leave Mike with the boys and head out with the girls. It’s a little weird because I don’t know them, at all, but whatever, we’re just going to the beach.

We set up shop and enjoy the amazing weather. There’s not much conversation, because we’re all here for the same reason – to soak up the sun this early in the season. The boys come down about 20 minutes later, with another friend, Erin. So four of them. They get ready near us and soon they’re running out to the water. I can’t believe how nervous I am. Taylor has been completely consumed by sun rays but now she sits up. “I gotta see this.” Me too, Taylor, me too. Now the three of us watch. I think we’re all nervous for Mike. And JJ – I’m pretty sure this is his first time surfing, too. Before we were just laying out, but now none of us can take our eyes off them.

That's Mike on the right!
That’s Mike on the right!

Mike can’t get out. I watch everyone go past him as he keeps getting stuck back. Now he’s drifting to the left, and he’s not getting out. I feel like I’m playing a video game. I didn’t play video games much growing up, but when I did, my whole body tried to move what was happening on the screen, rather than just pressing the buttons. I am willing Mike to get out with them, over the waves, and to stop drifting to the left. He must be so tired, trying to get out to them, and he hasn’t even started surfing yet. Taylor asks me, “Do you think he’ll come back?” He wants to. I know he wants to, but he won’t. He’d be too embarrassed. He will do this. Even if he is dead tired and can’t physically do this, he’ll do it.

I watch Mike float on his board, and as a wave starts coming towards him, he makes a last second decision to get off his board. He keeps doing this. After what seems like forever, Mike is with them. I breathe. They’re all together, finally. It’s a while before I see Mike try to catch a wave. It’s his first time, ever, and he gets his feet up on the board. He goes down fast, but he was up. If for only a second, he was up. He’s all the way in now, and I’m worried that may have just been too much for him; that’s he’s going to be done. But he goes back out. And now I can relax. Mike is surfing! If it was too much or he hated it, I think he would have gotten out of the water right then. But he didn’t.

He stays out there for about an hour. I’m impressed. I’m scared of the water – creatures mostly. Sharks, definitely. “Did you see me get up?” I saw you get your feet on the board in the beginning. “No I mean later, I was up.” Well, I sort of stopped watching. Surfing is cool but it takes forever for them to get out far enough and finally catch a wave.

Mike heads up to Rob’s apartment to shower. I get a good two hours in the sun before I do the same. Rob tells me that Mike was good. I think he caught on fast. I’m not surprised – he is athletic. He just doesn’t care so much about being athletic these days. Rob to Mike – “Did you like it?” Yea, it was fun. “Do you wanna go again?” Eh, I don’t know, maybe. In a year.

Somehow, I don’t think Rob will let him get off that easily. The following weekend, Mike is back in the water. This time accompanied by Ian, the director of AH. Here it is…

*The Beach Boys

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