Adrift with Stephen Davis (Part One)

“Clouds are skidding down the highway, and so am I; Clouds are rolling down the highway, and so am I.  I’m in the desert headed East; guess I’m gone at last, at least; they’re not clouds, they’re really shadows from the sky; Clouds are rolling down the highway, and so am I.

“Storm clouds gather on the mountains like a shroud; cloaked around the distant mountains, like a shroud. There’s some one I love the most; but I left her on the Coast; never did one single thing to make her proud; Storm clouds gather on the mountains like a shroud.” lyrics by Erwin Dence, Jr.

Image This is a photo Stephen Davis sent me from his trip from Port Townsend, Washington to Dayton, Ohio to bury his mother’s ashes. Stephen, it seems to me, has thrown himself off another ledge. The perfect guy to go surfing with, generous, willing to celebrate someone else’s ride, he has no real agenda.

“My Psychic told me I have to go.”


Somehow, Steve is also giving his Psychic, who he’s meeting for the first time; his car. “Because she needs one.” “Uh huh. And then…?” “I’m not sure.”  “And yet…?”

This seems like classic Stephen Davis. Though I’ve lived my life close to the edge; I always looked for certainty; jobs in the future, hopefully lined up; this one, then that one. Lined up toward some distant channel. If a section falls prematurely, I push through. 

But Steve… different. He (forgive any forced metaphors), just pulled through, out; hit another wave. He seems, to me, to be like some incarnation of Candide; not quite clueless, but, maybe, optimistic.

Oh, I know that’s not totally true. He has demons; a father who was (and is) forever disapproving. “You have to get over that,” I told him en route from Fat Smitty’s, along Surf Route 101 in Discovery Bay, to some waves on the farther Straits. But, somewhere approaching Sequim on the way home, I was pounding the dashboard with my free hand, yelling, along with Stephen, “You (meaning Stephen’s Dad) ______ (I’m going to say ‘had sex with’ because my family members might be shocked at what I/we were really saying) Lenny’s (made up name of one of Stephen’s ice hockey teammates at, probably, the pre-high school level) mom!” Now, put it together with both of us pounding and laughing.

I don’t know if my weak on-the-road counseling was helpful for Stephen. He’s had plenty of counseling, even pre-Psychic. I did once receive a text from a surf spot in Oregon. He had, he wrote, sitting outside on a day in which the surf came up enough to wash the other surfers to the beach, heard the Universe ring. Clearly.

But that’s not the beginning of this story; it’s not even the middle. There’s more. 


Overhead on my sweet, sweet laptop

SO, I received my much-anticipated new, ‘sweet, sweet laptop’ (quote from my daughter, Dru) about a week after my hand-me-up (from son, Sean) PC got all virused-up due to my stupid (and getting stupider) opening of the wrong thing on Hotmail (It said it was from the USPS). Right now I’m on Trisha’s computer, waiting another fifteen minutes for the arranged (yesterday) phone call from Dell’s support team. It’s a Windows 8.1 driven laptop sitting on top of my disconnected printer/scanner in the adjacent office; plugged-in to the router and ready to be fixed. Again.

Evidently the last fix, an hour on the phone day before yesterday with a support guy who was about to lose it several times, and the eventual re-setting of the entire computer (supposedly) didn’t fix the problem.

I could stop writing at any moment to take the call.

Okay, eleven minutes more. The problem is this: The keyboard doesn’t work. But, the good news, if there is any, is that, before it decided I couldn’t surf the worldwide web by punching in new addresses or prompts, I did go to Bing, and typed in ASP. I got to watch semi-final heats from Margaret River before deciding it was just too damn late to watch the final. Besides, it couldn’t have been better than the Slater/Bourez heat.

That “ASP” on Bing is one of the tabs I can’t seem to close, or change, but I can scroll down and, if there’s something new, I can click on it, maybe get the first day video from Bell’s Beach. Okay, some time after 6am (6am-8am, supposed tech support call back), I did watch a video of the first round. Evidently Kelly beat Kalohe, the younger competitor using some Slater-esq moves, in the first round.

Okay, three minutes left. I could talk about the swell supposedly coming in tomorrow for Easter, or I could revisit the last surf session, roll-throughs at the usually user-friendly reef break, or, maybe how Stephen Davis, working in my stead while I surfed, responded when I called to tell him how great it was, his line the most negative he’s ever said (at least to me)

“Whatever, Dude; I know it was shitty.”

I could, but, whoa; now it’s 8 am, time’s up. I have to make a phone call.