Part One of Two
I think if one chooses to surf, one must be willing to accept both the joys and heartbreaks that decision may bring.
The first time I went to the mall it was five hours from home, so it was not something that my family did often. The Avalon Mall in 1970 was huge to a five year old who had only know buildings to contain a single store to that point in his life. This was to be a brand new adventure in indoor shopping, food courts, escalators and big maps that pointed out that you are here. So what do I remember about that very first trip to the mall? Absolutely nothing. Sorry. What can I say? Shopping back then, just as today, was no big thrill for me.
But what I do recall was later that day. After returning to the apartment of the relatives, with whom we were staying, I locked myself in the only bathroom and from my pocket pulled the brand new Hot Wheels that I must have convinced someone to buy for me. It was a Volkswagen van with two removable plastic surfboards in slots on the sides. I drove my van around the sink now filling with water while making VW engine noises. Finding a great parking spot near the soap I unloaded both surfboards and using my fingers as feet surfed to all four corners of that round sink, imagining huge waves and giant curls as I hung ten. Oh the joy!
I was in my own private Waikiki until playtime was shattered by someone pounding on the door complaining they were unable to hold it much longer. I quickly pulled the plug from the sink. Unfortunately, I had not removed my surfboards from the water in my rush and they began swirling in the sink, caught in the vortex of draining water, before I noticed. I made several grabs for the spinning boards but was too late as in horror and disappointment I watched them both vanish down the whirlpool, lost forever to the underground labyrinth of the St John’s city sewer system. Oh the heartbreak.
That was forty years ago.
I got over it.
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