Hollywood – Part III
I hailed a ride to the Bob Hope airport at around 9:30 AM on Saturday morning, surprisingly full of energy for not having slept much of the night. I had made it back to my hotel room at a reasonable hour, but the party going on at Mama's Shelter on Selma and Wilcox might as well have been at the foot of my bed. Horns were honking, bottles were breaking, and voices were shouting until well into the light of day. I only managed to fall asleep after wrapping one of the softer pillows around my ear as a make-shift, noise-cancelling device, finally drowning out the continuing festivities.
"Hey man, thanks for picking me up," I said to the driver as I climbed into the backseat.
"No worries, brah," he answered.
We sped off towards the freeway and began making our way through the hills, past Universal City towards Burbank. After some small talk about our origins, I asked the twenty-something year old man about what brought him to Los Angeles.
"I came out here to surf, bro. Problem with Californians is they can't keep a secret," he said with a bit of annoyance.
"What do you mean?" I asked, fully intrigued by the perceived slight.
"Where I come from, bro, when you find a wave, you ride it. You don't go telling everyone about it. Next thing you know there are a hundred other guys trying to catch that same wave. The guys out here, soon as they see a great break they go texting and Tweeting everyone they know."
I laughed. I've heard the same thing from some of my customers about their secret local liquor bodegas being outed on Instagram. But the next thing he said really rang true.
"Sometimes I can't tell if these guys actually even want to surf, bro."
"In what way?" I followed up.
"It's like they get more out of telling people about surfing than actually surfing. It's all ego, bro. They'd rather get a hundred likes on social media for reporting a great wave rather than actually fucking riding it. Drives me crazy, bro."
"I know exactly what you mean," I said.
"Oh....you surf too, bro?"
"No, but I drink whiskey," I answered with a laugh.