08/30/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

Friday I had my first medical appointment in something like forever, down in Carmel Valley with a doctor from South Africa who I selected as my primary because I thought she’d have a cool accent – which she did, more of an echo like she’d lived away from the Cape of Good Hope awhile now. Mostly pronounced me medically okay, she said to my question the blotches appearing under my skin on my forearms were the result of – um – old age and banging my arms and capillaries breaking under the skin, and this was the 2021 way of bruising for you she explained. I said I don’t remember banging my arms all those times and she said you did, it doesn’t take much with your decades, more gently than that, and I went home and was at this keyboard typing and I felt something on my left arm and looked down and one of those blotches had torn through the skin and I was bleeding and it figures stuff happens right after the appointment. And Gavin, later, said take a picture and send it to her and I did take the pic, but it remains anonymous in my phone.

I took it after I’d gone boogie boarding at Moonlight Beach for the third straight day and I was leaking blood on my way out and walking around hoping for the bathing suit to dry. I tell you this as a prelude to the real story which is Saturday I drove down to Ocean Beach in San Diego and walked the Sunset Cliffs along with an amazingly resonating phone call from my long-time mentor Mark in Florida, and then back to where I’d parked and slipped out of my shorts to the bathing suit already on and for the first time carried a boogie board a long way to a beach and went in the rather chilly water where 10 years ago I had first seen children fly by with looks of amazement and thrill, which I wanted, and I managed to stay in 15-20 minutes and boogied (watery-like) a bunch of times and about four really cool rides and one was wicked – the ocean energetic and fired up and me flung over and through like a frisbee skimmed on water back and forth between Ariel and her dad. Of course I was properly band-aid-ed and forget about the cut and when I got my stuff and found a bench to clean my feet I noticed the band-aid dangling and blood dripping again and so I got myself together (relatively) and walked out across the street and stuck my head in the open door of a surf shop called “The Shed” and asked would they by any chance have a band-aid? And the manager said let me look and they (he and helper) didn’t but ended up wrapping gauze with stretchy material and taping it on – so cool – and I said I had no money but I’d be back sometime when I did and they said forget it, glad to help, and I walked backed to my car, carrying my board almost like (big stretch here) a surfer (wheeee) and put my shorts on and went back and walked the famous pier which I’ve loved more than a decade now and then went back to The Shed and bought a tank-top with their logo and a “Surfer’s Journal” and said words to the effect of what goes around comes around, and they gave me some free decals. Then I walked around the corner to eat my fun Keto-busting, famous-chocolate-shake-late-lunch at Hodad’s – another big time sacred space – and nothing short of a near-miracle had me fourth in line, instead of the usual around the corner, and the three girls in front of me were called in just as I stepped behind them, making me first like on the immediate level, and I had a yummy and sugary lunch and left and took a bunch of pics of painted murals on walls all around and then slowly walked back, and I said out loud, “I hate leaving Ocean Beach”, cause I did.

So maybe this is a story about old age, or the strange paths of sharing time with a soulmate who shows you the best stuff and then says adios and the best stuff is still waiting – not exactly the same but different in an okay suit up, show up way. Maybe it’s about good thing there’s no vampires in my life (I’m aware of), or of having a new doctor who talks with a cool voice and says you will do what I tell you and I said yeah and so started taking Vitamin D Sunday, but said no to a pneumonia vaccination because the last time I had one I was sick like I had it for three days and she said pneumonia vaccinations don’t get you sick and I said “Oh yeah?” Or maybe this story is about a 72.5-year-old gypsy-like character who never forgets how blessed he is even when passing through periods of pitiable whining.

And remembering also heard on the day of the divorce word, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to you aid”, like asking for a band-aid in a surf shop, and here I am boogie boarding up and down the SoCal coast and hopefully it’s about the blessing of hanging onto childlike wonder, and even that kind of children’s faith, another day. Maybe, come to think of it, it’s just about waking up and getting up – that gift – once more.