I left The General in La Push. He was pissed. He ran after the car when he realized what was going on, swearing, and then at the last second stopped short and smoothed his hand through his hair like he’d never been running in the first place. Like it was his idea. Something tells me I haven’t seen the last of The General on this trip, though. Like I’ve left him in the dust only to find him hitchhiking later, somehow further along down the road than me. Today I feel like he might be waiting outside a gas station in Hoquiam.
The surf last night in La Push was glorious. Actually, it was tiny, and really crappy at the beginning, but then I found a nice little right wedge that I tucked into repeatedly, and started, finally, to commune with La Mala. Every time anyone’s asked me how my new board is I say, “I don’t really know. I haven’t really gotten to surf it yet.” And this is true. The first time I surfed it was at lackluster Crescent, then gnarly, wonky conditions out by Cape Flattery, then massive Westport, and then yesterday, finally, small, punchy La Push. La Mala needs punchy waves. She needs a bit of force. A bit of danger. If the waves are mushy she’ll just get out of the water. Or refuse to perform. Which is what she was doing yesterday until I finally found a peak worth surfing.
After surfing I didn’t make a fire. I hung out with The General on the beach, looking out at the stars, and the crescent moon that dangled above the horizon.
“Fuck, that’s beautiful,” The General said, taking a drag off one of his Gauloises.
I looked over at him and raised an eyebrow. Was The General getting sentimental?
“Reminds me of this one time we were in Algiers. Mortars coming at us from all angles. Real shit storm. But then all of the sudden things cleared up for just 10, 15 minutes. The stars were beautiful.”
“You were in Algiers?” I asked, and immediately the mood changed. The General continued smoking and finally said, “I’m turning in for the night.”
But he hadn’t gone to sleep. When I got back to the car The General was standing next to La Mala, whispering in her ear. She looked uncomfortable/excited. I heard him whispering the words, “Clever little munchkin…” when I pulled him back and asked if he wanted to have a smoke.
If there’s one thing The General’s always down for, it’s to have a smoke.
Now I’m a city called Amanda Park, somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, at the Timberland Regional Library. This place was a godsend. I needed a place with WiFi to watch the Chelsea vs. Watford game, and just as it was starting the Timberland Regional Library came into view, and it had just opened. The facilities are wonderful. The woman working the front desk is insanely helpful, going out of her way to track me down and ask if I needed headphones. And so here I am, watching English Premier League football, happy as a razor clam, listening to Chelsea fans chant, “Jorginho” over and over, and even watching Christian Pulisic score. After the game I’ll keep going down to Hoquiam, and then through Aberdeen, and then on to Westport for a cheeky early afternoon surf.
Is it weird to say that I kind of miss The General? I mean, he’s a huge asshole, but he tells it like it is. I need his no-nonsense approach in my life. I weirdly hope he’s somehow in Hoquiam.
Part 2 (a day and a half later)
So yes, just as I suspected, The General was waiting for me in Hoquiam, outside a Shell station. This has happened countless times between The General and I. I leave him in some or another town, and then find him down the road, him having somehow hitchhiked his way ahead of me (I drive kind of slow). The funny thing is whenever this happens we never talk about it. I just say something like, “What’s up,” and he stubs his cigarette out on the ground, and we continue on as if nothing happened. He gets in the front seat of Panchita, makes some lewd comment about a passing girl, and off we go. The thing is I was GLAD The General was waiting for me in Hoquiam. I kind of missed him. He provides such a fresh perspective on things. Taoism is all about not forcing things, but The General always says, “Fuck that shit, mate. How do you think geezers ever get stuff done?”
Camping at Westport was great. We stayed up past 1am talking about random shit, the whole time justifying it by saying, “Well, we get to sleep an hour more tomorrow, so we can go to bed whenever we want.” I still slept about seven hours. I slept in Panchita. I slept WELL in Panchita on this trip. I think it’s all about having the window cracked a bit. Get some fresh air in there. If you think about it, in our cave-dwelling days we were always getting fresh air, because we could never seal the cave properly. So I think it’s essential when you’re sleeping to have a little fresh air. This is not a problem on Full, because she’s super porous. The hatch has a vent on it. There’s a vent in the bathroom. In the summer I sleep with the front hatch cracked, too.
One thing I realized today is that when writing this blog I’m going to talk about people in my life, and they’re not always going to agree with everything I say. In fact, sometimes I’m going to interpret things people have said to me in the completely wrong way. Sometimes I’m going to offend people. But I guess that’s natural anytime you write about your life. The General is always telling me I need to be MORE offensive, that I need to speak my mind more. This was never a problem when I was younger. When I was younger I had no filter.
Tomorrow, at 1:23pm, I leave for Norway. I am over the moon excited. I only wish I had noise-cancelling headphones. I totally bricked it on getting that taken care of. I also need to move heaven and earth to make sure I get an aisle seat. When you fly Delta Basic Economy, you don’t get your seat assigned until you actually check in. I still haven’t checked in. So maybe I can do that now and go kamikaze (poor choice of words) on an aisle seat. The best thing? I won’t be making the trip alone. The General is coming with me. Except he’ll be in Business Class.
OK, I got an aisle seat. I was originally in 22D, which seemed like an aisle seat because I figured it would be a 3-4-3 configuration, but maybe 3-4-3 configs don’t even exist, it’s a 2-4-2 configuration, which means 22D is middle. So I changed to 40H. The fact that you can even change upon check in with Delta Basic Economy is awesome. The only problem is I’m like three rows from the bathroom. This will be awesome if I have diarrhea, but otherwise it’ll just be a nuisance. God, I need noise-cancelling headphones. A long flight like this is almost guaranteed crying baby. I might even be crying. I’ll certainly watch several movies.
Daylight Savings time has just gone out of effect, which means, even thought it’s only 4:30pm, the sun will be setting soon. In fact, it sets at 4:49pm. I still have to pack for my trip. I still have to figure out how to get from the airport in Bergen to my Airbnb. I still have to figure out why the girl I’m staying with somehow hasn’t read a single book by Karl Ove Knausgaard.
I’m also going to take it easy this afternoon. Hang out with my parents a bit. The reason I didn’t write sooner was because I was being social and being active. It’s good to talk to people other than La Mala and The General. So tonight I’ll drink some black tea and hopefully spend some nice time with my parents. And then tomorrow…NORWAY!