ADRIFT (Part Two), FIght or Flight

“Got my foot down to the floorboards, making time; got it pressed down to the floorboards, making time. Though she said I’d never learn, she gave me love I did not earn; Got to shift down as I start that uphill climb; got my foot down to the floorboards, making time.

“It’s a chance I had to take; there’s some money I can make; but to make it, have to go so far away. I could turn this rig around, roll it right on back towards town; But I won’t, and if that’s wrong… it’s my mistake. I’ll return or more than one heart’s gonna break.” lyrics by Erwin Dence, Jr.

This is Stephen in Port Townsend (photo courtesy of Stephen Davis- not sure who took it) with what he identified as his ‘fight or flight’ expression. He had returned home from working on a construction project in Colorado that had just recently fallen apart when the primary financial backer suddenly died of a heart attack.  Different story. The immediate impetus for returning was that his brother had been involved in a car accident that sent him, the brother’s daughter, and a friend of his daughter’s to Harborview, the regional trauma hospital, in Seattle.

Stephen and his wife are partners in a Port Townsend restaurant with Stephen’s brother. Stephen had been a cook, but, with tensions high, and, he said, “everybody blaming him,” he was working in Colorado because he had, after suitable worry and debate, walked away. He had been raised in Colorado, playing hockey and skiing, before coming to the northwest to study at the Wooden Boat School more than twenty years ago.

It was in Port Townsend that Steve honed skills in surfing, picked up kite surfing for those windy, choppy days on the Straits. He traveled for surfing extensively (at least compared to me), and knew every secret spot from Port Townsend to Neah Bay, having explored the points and rivermouths. His master plan had been to build an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit (ADU) on his property, move into it, rent out the main house, and use this income to allow him and his wife Stephanie, and son Emmett, to spend some time living in Mexico.

Things change. Because his brother couldn’t compete in an ice hockey league that competed in Bremerton, Stephen was quite excited to take his place, “And I get to play for free.” It’s not clear whether the Psychic knew this in advance, but the day after Stephen helped his brother’s team secure a victory, champions for the season (“I got a hat trick and made a couple of awesome defensive hits- bam”), Stephen Davis met me at the Henery’s Hardware store in Quilcene (on Surf Route 101), I paid him the two hundred bucks I owed him, and…

“It’s all surfing.” Anon.

Yeah, that’s Stephen’s mom’s car, now the Psychic’s.


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