I stand by the shoreline, watching this man struggling to get up on his surfboard. It’s very frustrating for me, since I surf. He’s just doing one little thing wrong. But I’d have to swim out to tell him. No. Let him figure it out. Ah…I couldn’t!
I swim out to the sandbar.
“Hey, I hope you don’t mind me telling you this but you’re doing one little thing wrong. Let’s fix it!”
He’s not annoyed at all. He looks rather odd. Good-looking but almost to a fault, with these dazzling white teeth and shiny soap opera looks. Not my type but whatever.
I show him what he’s doing incorrectly: he keeps trying to stand up on the board before he actually catches the wave – a common beginner’s problem. He needs to paddle harder then get up. So I show him how it’s done. He’s as good as gold after that. After a while, I feel a deep urge to commandeer his surfboard for a few minutes.
“Hey, do you mind me catching a wave or two on your board?”
“No, that’s fine.”
So I leave him on the sandbar and paddle out far, where the big waves play. I catch a few. Then a few more. I do realize I’m being a little rude but oh well…I’m always nice and whatever. I look over at shiny soap opera dude and he’s talking to a group of people on the sandbar. He must know a lot of people here, I think. That’s strange. I’ve never seen him before.
I paddle back to him and overhear some kids saying to him, “Hey, nice meeting you, Mr. Guttenberg.”
Steve Guttenberg, film actor. Hmmm...now the dazzling white teeth and LA waxen looks all make sense! Plus earlier, he had mentioned how being in the water was very “Zen-like” for him. People around here don’t talk like that. You could get you’re ass kicked for Zen.
I give him back his surfboard.
“Cocoon.” I say.
“Yeah and a few other movies.” he says.
We resume our lesson and at this point, he’s doing pretty well. I feel proud of my handiwork. He catches me looking off into the distance, at the bigger waves.
“You can take the board again if you want.”
“No, that would just be too…but I didn’t think the waves would be so nice so I left my board at home and you know what? I will. Thank you.”
And with that, I paddle off a second time on Steve Guttenberg’s board. I catch some nice waves and he happily body surfs the smaller, sandbar break. I could tell he was feeling really Zen. Me too.
Steven Guttenberg and I play well together.