Bells

there’s the ending

luck let’s you out the back

(Nate, you can have my Al Merrick if I eat shit and die.)

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vomit draft

UNEDITED excerpt from

pony up or eat it

by nora o’malley

part I

california (is a good kisser)

“That right there’s a surfer girl,” another said.

Instead of turning their way, I kept my gaze on the waves. There’s only one thing a pro surfer wants from a pretty girl anyways, and it ain’t her company in the water. Let me assure you.

When the pot wore off, I made my way back to San O to suit up for a longboard. But oddly enough, I was thinking about shortboarding the entire time.

chapter 21
Dating when you’re living out of a campervan is hard work, but I was trying. I picked up this one surfer boy at Blackies named Andreas. He was from Greece, studying Physics at the University of California. He surfed and he climbed, which was a bonus since I was hoping to find someone to go to Joshua Tree with. I also liked the fact that he was a gorgeous nerd with an unruly head of curly brown hair. I was a sucker for messy locks.

Our first official ‘date’ was coffee and a boiled egg (I kid you not, he made me a boiled egg) at his place on campus followed by a mission to T-Street in San Clemente. T-Street was definitely a level or two up from the waves at San O. Like Trestles, it broke faster, meaning YOU had to be faster.

We parked just up the hill from the beach where the parking was free. Andreas took his shortboard, I waxed up Patience the longboard. His dark eyes widened as I awkwardly changed out of my red jean shorts and black tank top into my 3/2 wetsuit. I already had a blue bikini underneath my clothes in anticipation for the moment.

As we approached the shore, we scouted the lineup for a spot to sit.

“I’m gonna sit on the outside,” I said and pointed to a vacant lot just left of the pod of surfers. There were some decent surfers out there. I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way.

“Well, I’ll be around there,” Andreas said and pointed to the middle of the lineup.

“OK! Maybe see you out there,” I said. Clearly this surf date was off to a great start!

It wasn’t easy getting out past the break. The white walls were much more powerful than San O and I got spit back to the shore a couple times before I finally made it out. Then I spent about an eternity trying to catch waves, but missing. Or getting tossed.

When I eventually got out of the water, Andreas was already waiting for me by the showers. He had already changed and had something to eat.

“Fuck, sorry about that! I didn’t realize I was out for so long,” I said.

“Where were you?” he said.

“I was sitting on the outside the whole time. You didn’t see me?”

“Nope,” he said.

“How could you not see me! I was the only one out with long hair,” I said.

We drove back to his place exchanging uncomfortable dialogue. He invited me up for a joint, I accepted, but in hindsight I should have just kept cruising. After the joint I stood up to leave.

“You’re going?” he said.

“Ya, I’m gonna go find a place to park the van for the night,” I said. What did he think that just because I was living out of a van that I’d put out on the first date?

Andreas desperately tried to hold my attention by offering up another joint.

“Nah, I’m tired. Gonna header,” I said. “Gimme a call if you want to go surfing again!”

I was just being polite. I knew he wouldn’t call. Surfing is an innately selfish sport, and we both weren’t willing to compromise our own ocean agendas just yet. Oh well, there’s always climbing… Only if there’s no swell or I have a flesh wound that can’t get wet, of course.

chapter 22

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Victoria’s Secret

Very sexy string of waves coming through.

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live the dream

Torquay, Great Ocean Road, Australia. Winter 2013. Photo: Tom Powell

it’s never too late

you’re never too old

you’re never too sick

to start from scratch

to be born again

– Bikram Choudhury

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write

a desk, finally.

3 months of California in a campervan

3 months of Costa Rica and the Pura Vida

7 months in Australia (and still counting)

1 gypsy quiver

1 valentina genuine leather journal and blue pen

1 adventure proof camera

=

1 bitchin’ surf story to pen*

*names will be changed to protect the identities of surfer boys. SHAKA!!

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miss your van

Mom,

Please post The Belgian over to Oz along with my Bday card.

Ta!

Daughta

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so you want to be a writer?

Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents
or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of people
who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self- love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still
would drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.
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damn you victoria

As the cold southern sand kisses my feet

The quietness of the country

No one’s out but swell

Damn you Victoria

There’s a creative buzz about the city

Sun spot on a grassy knoll

No wonder she’s the world’s best

Damn you Victoria

The most delicious man approaches

Eyes me like a child

No telling where the story goes next

Damn you Victoria

So bloody beautiful and providing

Sadly far from home

No way I can stay?

DAMN YOU VICTORIA

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Learn Australian

ta thanks

rock up show up ei: he better rock up soon

brekkie breakfast

maccas Macdonalds

Straya Australia

arvo afternoon

mozzies mosquitos

how ya going? how are you?

g’day hello

mate friend, buddy, pal, dude, etc etc (tag it on to pretty much any sentence)

reckon to gather/to think ei:reckon it’ll rain this arvo, mate?

Tally Ho a preferred brand of rolling papers

op shop thrift store

bogin’ redneck

frothin’ you feel it after a good session

teabaggin’ it sitting out on your board not catching waves, just floating

Bunyip A mythical creature (like a Sasquatch)

root, rooting, rooted fuck, fucking, fucked

Mermaid that’s me

no drama no worries

I reckon learning Australian is much easier than Learning Spanish, mate!

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see it

coup d’oeil

“The ornithologist David Sibley says that in Cape May, New Jersey, he once spotted a bird in flight from two hundred yards away and knew, instantly, that it was a ruff, a rare sandpiper. He had never seen a ruff in flight before; nor was the moment long enough for him to make a careful identification. But he was able to capture what bird-watchers call the bird’s “giss” – it’s essence – and that was enough.

Malcolm Gladwell, blink: The power of thinking without thinking

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