WRESTLING ELEPHANTS

By Jamie Brisick

TORTURED BY SIDEWALKS

"Tortured by sidewalks...open to anything, ready to introduce a new world with a shrug."  —Jack Kerouac

July 17, 2011

WIGGLE FOR FREEDIA

In the future, we will make love not with our genitals, but rather with our smartphones.

July 16, 2011

LAUGHING UNDERWATER

I’d been dreaming of Jeffreys Bay since the time I watched a full wetsuit-clad Shaun Tomson fly across its machine perfect rights in Storm Riders at the Tarzana 4-Plex in ’82. An exquisitely arced pointbreak near Cape St. Francis, South Africa, J-Bay delivers one the world’s longest rides. During the swell season from May to September, surfers from all corners of the globe make the pilgrimage. Some never leave.

     On an overcast day in June, a couple of fellow pros and I pulled into the parking lot that overlooks Supertubes, the finest of J-Bay’s many sections, just in time to witness a procession of double overhead, hypnotically perfect waves peel off to infinity. There were at least fifty guys sprinkled along the lava rock point, but the waves were so relentless it hardly seemed an issue. We couldn’t get out there fast enough. Boards were slung from roof racks, Air Jordans were hurled across rear seats, wetsuits and booties were anxiously shimmied into.

     I paddled out at Boneyards, the tip of the point. The water was a frigid fifty-eight degrees. After duckdiving a fleet of waves that induced spasms of ice cream headache, I maneuvered into position. The sky was the same shade of grey as the water, making it hard to distinguish bumps. To my left were swarms of surfers; to my right, no one.

     A set marched in. I bolted for the horizon. The first wave crested, and as I pierced through the back, needles of icy offshore spray rained down on my head. The second wave stood up perfectly. I stroked, angled, popped to my feet.

     The silvery face stretched out for a mile, a racecourse of steep, dimpled, twelve-foot wall. I dropped to the bottom, turned, and held my line. The curtain heaved over my shoulder and suddenly, effortlessly, I was standing in a gleaming tube. It roared the way a shell held to your ear does. Out of the almond shaped hole, I watched surfers stroke over the top.

     I came out, dropped to the bottom, and again, pulled into a high tube. Swirling water whooshed past. Cool air blustered up from the crashing lip. As the tapering swell rounded Supertubes, it yawned and released me. Out of the corner of my eye I glimpsed Marty Thomas, Chuy Reyna, Barton Lynch, Vetea David, Octavio Bueno—a veritable UN of pros—all hooting.

     I scaled to the crest, arced tenderly, and barreled to the bottom, my 6’7” Rusty swallowtail chattering against the surface chop. The wave steepened. The lip pitched. Again, I pulled in tight and held my line. In that perfect little cocoon of spinning Indian Ocean, I watched the curtain zipper past, falling in sheets of spidery glass. My exit shrunk. The mirror-like face turned frothy, ribbed. In a kind of cartoon of childbirth, the tail of my board lifted and shot me forward. My face slapped the hard water; the turbulence wrestled me down. I felt ecstatic. If it were possible to laugh underwater I would have.

July 14, 2011

THINGS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE IN NEW ORLEANS

FABULOUS FORNICATION

July 12, 2011

SOMEONE STRANGELY ENFRANCHISED, UNTAMED, UNTRAMMELLED BY CONVENTION

"The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is someone outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; someone strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action." 
     -Winston Churchill, politician and statesman (1874-1965) 

July 4, 2011

ON THE STREETS OF CHINATOWN, NYC…

July 1, 2011

ME, THE NIGHT, MY COMPADRE RAYMOND…

June 29, 2011

POLICE, PRIESTS, POLITICIANS…

June 28, 2011

A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME

“Waves are the ultimate illusion. They come out of nowhere, instantaneously materialize and just as quickly they break and vanish. Chasing after such fleeting mirages is a complete waste of time. That is what I choose to do with my life.” - Miki Dora

June 27, 2011

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