Head, ass, head, ass, and repeat.
In 1989 my best friend Krista and I were given the graduation present of a lifetime from our parents.
7 days in Hawaii! Just the two of us. We were 18 years old and vacationing without parents.
The other day I was talking to Krista about grief. I was reminded of one of the many stories of our Hawaii trip.
This is HER favorite.
One day while sunbathing on the beach. I decided to take a dip in the ocean. I didn’t want to get my hair wet. It was the 80’s afterall and I had some pretty long, BIG, spiral permed hair. So it was a nightmare to wash, dry, style, etc…and we had a long day of exploring the island ahead of us.
I donned my neon yellow neoprene bikini and headed into the ocean. I slowly walked out and stopped when the water hit my waist. Krista stayed on the beach basking in the sunshine.
The water was warm, clear, calm, perfection. I was facing Krista and no doubt trying to coax her in while splashing water onto my upper body to cool off. I then turned out to face the expansive ocean only to be shocked by what seemed to be a 20 foot wave (probably 6ft wave) coming straight at me with a velocity of a Tsunami, or so it seemed at the time.
I grew up near the water, in the water, and loved the ocean. However, I have never seen, felt, or experienced anything like this. To say the wave hit me would be an understatement. That goddamn thing ate me up.
I felt my head hit the bottom of the ocean floor, then my ass, then my head, then my ass, and repeat.
After what seemed to be an eternity, I emerged. Washed up onto the beach, or at least ankle deep water. I was so disoriented from the sand ass facial that I was on all fours. All I could do besides spit the ocean water out of my mouth was feel around to make sure my bikini was still on and covering the important areas of my body so I wouldn’t be arrested for indecent exposure. This was not a nudist beach. Thank god for neoprene. That baby stuck like glue.
Once the sand and water partially left my ears, all I heard was laughter from the beach and a voice saying, “Stand up.” Krista was laughing and pissing her bikini (at least I would like to think she was wetting herself) that she could hardly get the words out. Now, no offence but this kind of thing happens to her, not me. I am usually the one laughing at her. So you can imagine she will never forget this and when this story is told, laughter and pissing occur. She said, “Even when I am old and have dementia, I will never forget this story.”
If you have ever seen the movie “Black Sheep” with Chris Farley and David Spade you may recall when Chris Farley falls down a massive hill. Head, ass, head, ass, and when he reaches the bottom, shakes his head in shock, he yells, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?”
That was me.
Not only did I have wet hair, I had 20 tons of sand in every orifice of my body. You should have seen the shower when I got out. It looked similar to the beach. I had sand in my hair for at least a month after this incident. I am not so sure I still don’t have sand in my hair.
People often refer to grief as waves. It hits you when you least expect it, like a wave. It washes over you and usually hits you out of the blue. This is so true.
The other night I was brushing my teeth before bed and I had a flashback of when I was driving my mom to Manchester Airport. She was heading home after a two month visit. We had tears in our eyes as we hugged goodbye. I tried to keep it together. I wanted to be strong for her as I watched her walk away, ALONE. It was heart breaking.
I had no idea this would be the last time I would see my mom or hug her. I had no idea.
Ass, head, ass, head, ass, head.
Then I stood up.