5:30pm. Courts, Ala Moana. A town break, known for its quick pitching face and high speed “rights”. Another Honolulu afternoon begins its farewells. Sky, orange. The typical baby blue now shunned by the distant setting sun. The ocean, now a deep bluish-green. Tinted with mirrored images of orange clouds.
Last wave in. I’m pau…
Rewind. 2:30pm. Another gorgeous day in Hawaii. Time to catch the few remaining waves of the dying south swell. I take a quick spin through the park. Oogling over the bettys working on their tans. I parallel
park my shit mobile. Wax up the board. Give the quick head jolt and throw a lazy shaka to the uncles next to me. They head jolt me back. But too lazy to put down their green bottles for a return shaka. Minors. They’ve refined the art of enjoying the afternoon in the city. Cooler. Beer. Beach. Laughter. Simplicity at it’s finest.
There’s not much to do while waiting in between sets. I stare at the postcard image of Diamond Head. It stares back but says nothing. I take a dive to cool off from the blazing Hawaiian sun. Going as deep as I can before equalizing. Look, a kala.! There IS fish on Oahu. A lung full of air I breath, as I surface facing the city. A rainbow, sitting pretty in the valley of Manoa. Reflections of other reflections off the twenty story glass pane monstrosities. Blue Hawaiian Chopper tours whizzes by. A honu comes up for air as well. Boring. Enough with writing poetry in my head. Send some damn waves already.
I surf the afternoon away, building up an appetite. Almost evening. Last wave in. Im pau…
Set comes. I huli my 10’0″ and face it to Manoa Valleys rainbow. Paddle. Drop in. Bottom turn. 10 foot shark. A beauty of a fish. Dark grayish brown back. Head, twice the size of mine. But seriously, why the fuck you gotta swim on the same wave as me Mr. Shark. I don’t like to share. But there he was. As long as my ten foot tanker. I almost jumped off my board because of his proximity. He could of held my right side rail with his fin if he wanted to. But that would be asinine if I did. Because, in the water, is last place I want to be. Out of fear, I turn over control of my body to my brain. HOLY SHIT SHARK!! is what comes out of my mouth. My left hand, uncontrollably imitates a shark fin and rests itself on the top of my head. More profanities are being spit out. I’m rusty on Jesus Christ moves, so the whole walk on water miracle wasn’t going to happen. I surf straight in. Fuck the cutbacks and nose rides. No tricks on this wave. My Japanese eyes aren’t Japanese anymore. It transforms into menpachi eyes. I didn’t know my asian eyes could stretch that much. My body glues itself to the board. I surf past a stand up paddler. He chuckles and smiles, asking, “What, you seen one shark?” I point behind me with my unused hand, dropping more F bombs. “He fucking right there!” “Fucking huge!” It was a lie, of course. I didn’t know where the shark went. I didn’t want to look.
Finally reach shore. Safe. Laugh. Thinking, oh my god, I must’ve looked like a fool. Imagining the other surfers out there witnessing my reactions and what they must be thinking. “How’s this moron coming down the wave, with severe tourettes and his shark fin hand on his head?” I learned something about myself. My vulgarity levels multiply and when scared shit less, I become a master at Charades. Other than that, it was the the most exciting “last wave” in my life.
I ironically cook fish for dinner, in tribute of the close encounter. Resembling the moment that I was almost fish food. Tomorrow, surf. This time I’ll bring a bucket. If this shit happens again, at least I’ll have something to carry all the bricks that I’ll shit out.