Sunday, March 7, 2021

Surfing, Playing the Guitar and Other Grievous Crimes Against Humanity

I always imagined that my life would be much better without a job.  It turns out that it is.  It's much better.  It's so much better that I don't ever want to have another job again.  The job that I want is no job.  This doesn't make me a bum.  It makes me the opposite of a bum.  I have a rigorous schedule and I don't want to give it up.  I surf, read, write, play the guitar, train, body surf, cook, eat, walk and sleep every day.  These are really the only things I want to do with enough regularity to be considered a job.  So that is my job for right now.  How long can I keep this up?  Only God knows.  It seems like a grievous crime against humanity for a person to live his life the way he wants these days.  Free from any kind of a job whatsoever.  Free to spend his days bettering his life in exactly the ways he wants.  Spending his time exactly the way he wants.  I am guilty.  I am guilty of the crime of doing pretty much what I want, when I want.  And I've never felt better.  I've never been healthier or more productive.  I'm in the best shape I've ever been.  My health is the ultimate gauge of whether what I am doing is good for me, and I am in the best shape I ever been.  I've been surfing and doing yoga every day, and I feel great.  Some days I body surf.  Some days I run.  Some days I do both.  I cook myself healthy meals and my roommate cooks healthy meals, too.  This is the job I want.  I want the job of nothing, so that I am free to do the things I like doing and be as healthy as possible.

My friend and I started a language club at her café here in Manzanillo.  We meet once a week in small groups.  Facemasks are mandatory.  We practice our Spanish together.  There are a few Canadian people who live here seasonally, and an American couple that owns a place down here.  Last week we had several local Mexican people join as well to practice their English while we practiced Spanish.  It was great.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.  I have made good friends at the café here in Manzanillo.  I come here pretty much every day.  I know everyone who works here, and several of the regulars.  It's a very nice community.

I have made good surf buddies, too.  We go on regular surf trips to the local breaks.  My friends are locals and Spanish speakers, so it's a great opportunity for me to develop my Spanish, too.  We are in the car for a while together.  Sometimes I fall asleep on the car rides, but I try to stay awake for them. We went to Barra de Navidad one time.  We did a camping trip to La Ticla for the weekend.  I didn't sleep for the whole weekend for a variety of reasons, and was completely exhausted by the end.  We visited Maruata and Faro de Bucerías.  I was so exhausted I could barely move.  

At one point, we visited Dedo de Dios.  Finger of God.  It's a rock shaped like a hand pointing up to the heavens from the ocean.  I told my friends that I need to go lay down and go to sleep.  I went and laid down in a shady spot on the beach under a palm-leaf roof.  Apparently some people had to be rescued while I was asleep on the beach.  I heard a commotion and voices, but I didn't know what was going on.  Then my friend told me afterward that a group of people had to be saved.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I felt bad that I slept right through it.  I put my sweatshirt down on the sand in the shade, faceplanted, and fell asleep.  I was exhausted.  I couldn't understand why people were yelling while I was trying to sleep.  Well, it turns out some people needed to be saved.  And thankfully they were.  By someone who was not asleep at the time.  I have been reading surf biographies and books about surfing by experienced surfers and it seems like almost every real surfer is called upon to save someone in the ocean at some point.  There was another near drowning right in front of my apartment building.  I was on the patio doing yoga.  By the time I realized what happened, they were pulling a boy out of the water unconscious.  Thankfully there was a doctor on the premises and the boy did not drown.  He recovered, but he was taken away in a stretcher.  He choked on water and almost drowned.  It happened in a matter of seconds. 

Rough sleeping conditions were a theme of the La Ticla trip.  The first night we tried to pile three guys into one small tent.  There was too much farting and not enough fresh air.  So the next night, I tried sleeping in the car.  I couldn't get comfortable in the car, so I decided to put a towel down on the sand and sleep on the beach under a blanket.  It sounds glamorous, but it wasn't comfortable.  I don't think I slept a wink.  The next morning the neighboring campers said I could have slept in their hammock, which would have been clutch.  But they were asleep at the time and it never even crossed my mind to jump in their hammock without permission.  It was still nice of them to offer it up afterward, even though it was too late.

My surf buddies and I have also been making regular trips to Boca de Pascuales, which is one of the best surf breaks in the world.  The waves are powerful, even when they are small.  And it gets big there, too.  I've seen it get 20 feet.  I've been out when there are 10 foot faces and big hollow barrels.  I am not charging those ones yet, but I am out in those water conditions and able to maintain control of the board.  I am riding a thin, 6'3 shortboard now.  It's not that short for my height, 5'8, but its thin and light and I had enough paddling power to use that board with 10-12 foot waves out at La Ticla.  I wasn't charging the biggest waves, but I was out there paddling around.  That was the first time we went to La Ticla.  The next time, when we went camping, the waves were smaller and I was able to catch a lot of them.  Some good rights.  And some lefts too.  The waves there were long enough to get a few good turns in. 

But I have been down here having the time of my life.  With no job.  And I don't want to get another one any time soon.  How do I plan on surviving?  I don't know.  But I do know what I am going to do with my time.  For as long as I can.  How much do I do?  As much as my body can physically tolerate without pain from repetitive use injuries.  I don't have time to delay for one minute.  I want to take advantage of every moment of this freedom and I don't want to give it up.  I don't ever want to spend one minute as a slave to a job.  Never ever.  I don't ever want to have a job again.  That's why I hustle so hard.  Because the minute this dream ends, it's right back to a job.  I am out here doing the work just so I can do it again tomorrow and the next and the next day.  I don't ever want to give my time back.  I have gotten a taste of freedom and it's every bit as sweet as I ever imagined.  I am not sure that I could go back, even if I wanted to.  I think I am a lifetime no-jobber.  Not because I am retired, but because I am just getting started.  Being a no-jobber isn't the end my career, it's the beginning.

I'm not against making money.  Don't get me wrong.  I will gladly accept certain contracts.  Writing gigs, I like to get.  I like projects I can do on my own time.  I have my own schedules that revolve around surfing, eating, training and sleeping.  I don't like my schedules interrupted.  This is serious business.  I am hard at work.  When and how and if I ever get paid for it is up to the Gods.  But I choose to keep doing what I am doing.  I am still an inactive member of the California Bar and I could go back to California and activate my Bar membership and become a lawyer again any time I want.   But I don't want to.  I want to keep doing what I am doing.  And the question of how I will support it remains a mystery.  This is a why I am an outlaw.  A vigilante.  I have the audacity to chase my real dreams without knowing how or when or if they will come true.  My great crimes are to surf, read, write, play the guitar, train, body surf, cook, eat, walk and sleep.  If these crimes land me impoverished and shamed, then so be it.  Whatever my plight may be, let it be the plight of a man who does the things he wants and nothing else.