competition. After the first couple of days, it wasn't as exciting.
The waves tamed down with the parting trail of Igor and the surf
whimpered. Thus, so did the surfing. It seemed that I kept showing
up right around the time the kids were surfing and I couldn't figure
out why, that is until after "ronniecarmen82" handed me the schedule.
Ronnie spent a little time as an 18-wheeler after the yacht-building
business tanked 6 or 7 years ago. Somewhere between Flagstaff and
Phoenix, he almost ended up in a tragic accident where 3 other
truckers lost their lives. "It really messed me up," he told me.
Upon his ex-wife's pleading, he moved back to the island. His kids go
to the local high school and she said they really needed him.
In the span of 15 minutes, I learned Ronnie's life history without
even asking. Why does that always happen to me? I didn't stop him
because it seemed like something he needed to tell. It was prefaced,
however, with, "I thought I'd get up the nerve to come over and talk
to you," as he handed me an ice cold bottle of water. It was a bit
flattering considering my I was letting my pasty white body hang out
in a bikini without reservation. He seemed a bit rusty on his pick up
lines and was "testing the waters" with me. That was his term. I
hoped that when he asked me if I had any kids 'yet' that my saying,
"no, I don't want to be bogged down by kids" would turn him off. Any
good father would say, "see ya later." Unfortunately, he continued
testing the waters. This is not to say he's not a good dad, or that I
was telling the truth. I couldn't glean enough from the conversation
and certainly didn't want to judge. It just was what it was and I was
not interested in him but didn't want to seem rude.
Ronnie said it was hard for him to talk to women. He had been out of
the game so long, he didn't know how to play anymore. I gave him some
advice and told him just to be himself. That made him go into a story
about hanging out with this girl he knew and watching a guy go all
around the place talking to every single girl and what a turn-off it
must have been. "Exactly. Pick-up lines are lame," I said to him in
a tone that I could tell made him think, 'hey, maybe this girl isn't
interested in me afterall.'
Regardless, he pressed on. He would be attending the big event dinner
for the competition and wanted me to come with him. My being nice
apparently made him think that I would say yes to dinner. For a
moment, I will have to admit I pondered saying yes just so I could
mingle with some of the hottie surfers. Unfortunately I'm just not
that kind of girl; not even the transitional me.
For some reason l told Ronnie I was a musician. I don't remember why
but I clearly remember a pop song coming over the loud speaker when he
said, "man, I love this song. What kind of music do you play?" "Old
country songs," I told him; clearly the antithesis of the soundtrack
that was narrating our conversation. "Cool," he said and switched the
conversation to surfing.
Earlier that day I was thinking how great it would be if I met a local
who would teach me how to surf. When Ronnie offered, suddenly I
became less interested. Maybe another local, but not Ronnie. He said
I "had the body for it." Man, he was slapping it on thick. When he
told me I didn't look a day over 25, I will admit I was flattered but
suddenly became overwhelmed -cough cough- by the sun and needed to -
Ronnie wanted to make sure I knew where the dinner was even though I
told him most likely I would not be attending. "Hold on a minute, let
me find out where it is," he said. I waited for him to return because
I didn't want to seem like a total jerk, even though perhaps I was.
He returned with the schedule and said, "I told a white lie. It looks
like the dinner was last night. I'll probably go over to the grille
and sing some 'scary-oke' if you want to come. It'll be fun!" I said
yes to grabbing beers with Ollie because he was harmless. Ronnie
honestly seemed harmless, too, but definitely had more on his mind
than I was interested in entertaining, so 'scary-oke' was out.
"Alright, take care," I said and joked about being glad he could test
the waters with me. Ronnie asked me if i was on Facebook. "Yea," I
told him, but that was all. Luckily he only knew my first name. He
wanted me to make sure I looked him up. Then he said, "hey, do you
have email?" Once again I told him "yea" and he told me to drop him a
line at "ronniecarmen82". I was a little puzzled that he wanted me to
email him but didn't give me the server. Strictly out of
dumbfoundedness, I asked. "Gmail, yahoo whatever," he said.
ronniecarmen82 was a trip. I tried to look him up, again, strictly
out of curiosity. I couldn't find his Facebook page. I get the
impression he was not sketchy, but rather just wanted to sound cool.
When I looked at the schedule he gave me, I learned that the adult
surfing competition was over two days prior.
The names are changed to protect the innocent in this blog post.