Pipeline. Hawaii. He spat out water and reached for his leash. That one had really knocked the crap out of him… He wheezed a bit and paused, scanning the swell coming in. The next set was rising dark and green on the horizon. He pulled himself up onto his surfboard and paddled out into the lineup. He’d been surfing for almost fifty years and it was the one thing that kept him focused and strong. Wanting to finish the day on a good note, he paddled and caught one last wave. He worked his way in and was soon on the sand. The sun burned the edge of the sea a dark orange and he stood for a moment. Gods majesty was never more apparent to him than at dawn or dusk. He believed that a great sunset was God’s way of signing off on his day. He was happy and the world could sleep in peace that night.
Returning home, he showered, ate and sat on the porch in the welcome evening breeze. The days had been terribly hot. He enjoyed the heat. It made the evening surf sessions all the more enticing. Rising, he remembered that he needed to make a list for the store the next day. He was looking through a drawer for a pen and some paper when he came across an old flash drive. “Hmmm…” he mumbled, as he turned it over in his hand. He hadn’t seen one of this type in many years. He squinted and could barely make out his inked initials on the front. PK. He set it to one side and touched the screen on his computer. Sliding the flash drive into the USB port, he thumbed the keypad. The screen lit up and he heard the computer whirring softly inside. He saw a file on the screen entitled, Peter King Ridiculous. He smiled in the half light. “Whoa! It’s been awhile..” Images began to appear on the screen.
He took a sip of hot Chai tea as he saw the images begin to spread out in small thumbnails. Chuckling, he tapped the pad and the first image enlarged. The first image was an old Surfer Magazine cover that he got a long, long time ago. “Those were the days.” The next image was blue and he clicked it open. It showed his old property in San Bernardino. He once owned a house out there with a pool. He and the old crew had really rode that place hard on skateboards. Pool skating. It seemed like a million years ago. He recalled buying the property in his youth. The pool was so perfect for skateboarding that he bought it as an investment. He fixed it up and it was a pool rider’s paradise for a few good years. Rubbing his tired eyes, he smirked as he realized that he hadn’t thought about that place in a long while. Ridiculous. “Yeah… it was. It was ridiculous to buy that house and think I could ever make a dollar on it!” He laughed to himself and sipped his tea. He continued looking through the images. Memory lane.
The photographs showed a regular gathering of friends back in the old days. He recognized most of them but time had slowly gotten behind him. Some of the people pictured were unknown to him now. He saw his own face staring back at him. The face was a few decades younger with less cares and fewer wrinkles. He saw Steve Alba, Bad Billy, Ozzie, KB, Lance Mountain… ”Wow!” he muttered under his breath as he enlarged a photograph of Lance Mountain doing a huge air. He had forgotten just how rad these guys once were. They did some pretty amazing things in that pool.
Peter King- the old man and the sea
Peter clicked open more of the images. He was surprised to see an image of legendary skater, Eddie Elguera. He had been there ripping it up that night. Shawn from Riverside was grinding into the shallows. There were girl skaters as well. There was that girl, Nora from the east coast… she had a good style and then Lizzie was there as well. Peter recalled seeing them on television in the ensuing years. They went on to become the greatest female vertical skateboarders of their time. He saw images of Tristan Rennie. He was destined to make his name in skateboarding. It was evident when he was barely five or six years old. Peter remembered seeing Tristan on ‘Dancing with The Stars’ once. He also had his picture on a Wheaties box after winning a Gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games.
As he got to the bottom image, Peter saw a small file labeled MP3/Ridic. He opened it and was pleasantly surprised to see a video clip of that session. It seems he had made it all those long years ago. He grew quiet and felt a sense of time slip away from him. He waxed nostalgic. He longed for his youth but also knew that he had led a good and honorable life. He had kept true to his core beliefs. As the video played through, other images flashed from his memory. His friends, skating, his family, Bunker, surfing… and always, the deep green sea.
Thank you to MRZ and Lucia Griggi for the images. Thank you to Peter king for the video edit… and for buying the house. Skate- Ozzie