May 8, 2013
Not the First or Last
“Has anyone seen the shit shovel and TP?” I asked, hunting around our camp.
“Dan took it and the Lambo (Dan’s shitty mountain bike with Lamborghini badges) ten minutes ago and headed out for his morning routine.”
My small cup of freshly percolated coffee was kicking in, bringing the mid morning stroll into the desert for a scenic shit from casual to imminent.
“Fuck.” This is not the answer I was hoping to hear. I scoured our camp of three tents, Dan’s Vanagon, Johnny’s pickup and a dozen or so surfboards for an unmolested roll of toilet paper. Finding one by the camp fire, I left with purpose.
“Those fifteen tacos you ate yesterday coming back to haunt you?”
“Hardly dude,” I responding with wavering confidence , still believing the hubris that my stomach could support the onslaught of a dozen street tacos in Ensenada with no delayed after affects.
My brisk walk turned in to a slow jog and eventual settled at a dead sprint down the dirt road leading towards the desert and undefined outhouse zone behind the row of camps. Looking back, our camp and half a dozen other surfers slowly shrank behind me. “I can make it,” I groaned to myself. A hundred yards in front of me, Dan crested the small hill walking his bike and holding the TP and shovel in one hand. We moved with a different sense of urgency.
“Give me that fucking shovel,” I yelled, doing my best to mimic Usain Bolt at the Beijing Olympics.
“Oooooh, Taco Greed?” Dan bent over laughing. Holding the shovel out in his left hand, I grabbed the baton and kept on my path.
My situation was quickly deteriorating. Perhaps if, I walked slowly I could control myself? No time for that. The shovel would be used as a clean up operation not to dig a premeditated, shallow grave digging tool as I had hoped when I left camp a minute before.
Avoiding cactus and other foot fuckers that could compromise my chances of making it out of this unscathed and unsoiled, I left the trail and set out over the hard ground of the Baja Desert. Dan’s laughs faded as I crested the small hill. Glancing behind me, Dan’s head was still visible but the camp behind him was blocked.
I spun around, dropping the shovel and TP in one motion. Frantically, I fidgeted with my belt. Despite my sprinting and efforts, the dike broke as I unbuttoned my jeans. Inches from the finish line, I crashed.
Restocking on produce at a local grocery store.
Erin attending to the morning dishes.
Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Tide pool exploration.
Kitchen for six.
Right by the beach.
Let there be light.
Dan’s Subaru powered Vanagon.
Ryan heading out to shred a few.
Going through the roll of toilet paper like a ten year old through Fruit Stripe Gum, I cleaned up the mess as well as I could. Periodically, I paused to burn the mountain of paper collecting in front of me. As the sun ross behind me, the off shore wind picked up. The swell, that we chased down from Santa Barbara two days before, was showing up. Lines, groomed by the wind, were bending in around the point. A few of the old time Baja guys were already out on their fun boards catching the best ones, showing their hard earned knowledge of the finicky wave.
Removing my boxers, I put my jeans back on and started my bowlegged retreat back to camp.
My boxers flapped from my index finger like a flag of defeat. I considered berrying the boxers along with the mountain of rejected tacos in a shallow grave. Coyotees would get it in no time and leave them discarded along the beach and I opted to burn them. Thankfully, the off shore wind kept the shit smell at bay. I walked slowly, watching the waves break a hundred yards out from our camp.
“I’m not the first person or the last one to shit myself in Baja,” I reassured to myself. “It’s a cost of doing business.”
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