Preeminent surf historian caught in cruel web.
I am writing to you, today, from deep in a New Smyrna jungle some many yards away from civilization but in the most civilized place ever. The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Tonight, you see, is the worldwide debut of a small film I directed called Trouble: The Lisa Andersen Story and it is being unveiled at a ridiculously gorgeous compound not very many yards away from where Aaron Cormican perfected his Gorkin Flip.
If you are around you must visit and see for yourself. It is too fantastic to describe here.
The air outside is a pleasant 90 degrees with 123% humidity. I love traveling to humid climates more than others mostly because I think it makes my hair look amazing but also because I think it makes my hair look amazing.
I am, anyhow, excited about the premier tonight. I believe in the film and I believe in Lisa Andersen. She is a true hero and her time is now but more on that later. At this moment I want to talk about Matt Warshaw. He is here too, alongside David Lee Scales. We were all supposed to meet up at nearby Orlando’s airport but my flight had to sit on the tarmac for an hour and a half after landing because lightening was striking nearby and apparently airport personnel aren’t allowed to go outside where there are lightening strikes. David Lee Scales was less fortunate and diverted to Tampa.
So there I sat on the tarmac looking at Instagram and wanting to drink before finally being let off the plane and wanting to drink. Matt Warshaw, who was waiting patiently inside, also wanted to drink and good thing because where we were headed was close.
Unfortunately, I was navigating and if you have read the still new Cocaine + Surfing (buy here)! you will know that navigation is not my strong suit. Shall we read a small portion?
Or maybe it is only a marvel only to me, and mostly because my directional sense is absolutely terrible. Even on land. Even in a place I have lived for years. Especially in places I have never been. I am a liability. A blight. I was once in Kiev, for example, directly after those fiery Iron Maidan protests of 2013. My “bridge burning” surf book had just come out and I thought I was back on my way to a meaningful destiny. I did not yet know I was running from it.
My phone was not working because and thus I was Google Maps-less-but wanting to get into the mix and so I pushed off into the charred drizzle with nothing but joie de vivre and a fantastic pair of Saint Laurent sunglasses. Before long I was hopelessly lost and stuck in some weird barracks of a protester practicing sword play, mumbling what he was going to do to the Russians when they returned, swishing his blade right under my nose. I didn’t know where I was and I tried to leave, but he wouldn’t let me unless I knew where I was going-because the Russians. And was I on their side? Was I on their team? Why was I wearing sunglasses? I asked for tea, eventually, and when he went to make it in a broken-down Volga he was using as a kitchen I ran out into the streets but got more lost and had to spend time with two Ukrainians dressed as Eastern European Mickey Mouses who proceeded to bore me with broken English and folk dances.
Scientists call it the “neurological effect of navigation-by-smartphone.” Scientists say that our directional sense lives where are memory does and when we end around by using technology instead of our brains we quite basically give ourselves Alzheimer’s. That we never really know where we are in the world and that puts humanity’s very future in danger. All I know is that I am an absolute directional catastrophe and that my memory really is so bad that I’ve been accused of Alzheimer’s more than once and I blame navigating by my phone. Or playing football in seventh and eighth grade as the skinniest boy ever born.
I made Matt drive one full hour in the wrong direction to a slum. We got to the slum and he said, “This doesn’t feel right.” I looked at my phone and responded, “Oops. We were supposed to go to Winter Park not Winter Haven.”
The torture lining poor Matt Warsahw’s face during the hour back made me feel very badly. Very very very badly.