Wisdom Through Humor
I Was Learning To Go Without

by Mak Faene

When I go vacationing, I'm always well prepared... Now. This wasn't always the case!

The time a couple of friends and I went camping for two weeks by the best East Coast surf area we knew of, I left rather unprepared. To my defense I was a young buck and this was the first time I'd really gone away on a holiday independent of the family for an extended period of time... But c'mon, I didn't even bring a pillow! That's just asinine.

Another of my notable blunders during this excursion was my planning of provisions. When you're camping in one hundred plus degree weather for two weeks the cooler you brought doesn't really live up to it's name - not to mention it occupies about fifty percent of your trunk space. The term "perishable" on the other hand, takes on an accelerated meaning...

But these were all negligible factors in the early days of our adventure. We were all far to excited about the change of scenery, the beach and the surf. Notable incidents during our novice days of surfing included numerous crushing rolls over the stoney ocean floor, a prowling sting-ray that did a remarkable shark impersonation for us unwitting city boys, and heat stoke so bad within the first two days that it had me hallucinating in our tent for a good twelve hours. After recovering from that, I'd imagined the worst was over until I came face to base of monster green wall of water that landed me an emergency room.

Three stitches and the satisfaction of knowing that I got the better of my travel health insurance plan, to contemplate over dinner that night. I was assaulted by my very own surf board. A stick far better suited for a more skilled surfer than myself, but it was a good deal, so hey! The monster wall of emerald water stole my surf board out from under me during a botched duck dive to avoid impalement. When I'd surfaced my board hadn't. It was still with me though, leashed to my ankle it hadn't gone far, so when it emerged like a rocket from the depths it sailed squarely into the back of my cranium. I suppose if I'd surface facing the other way, out to sea, I'd probably have lost an eye at best.

Thankfully I wasn't knocked unconscious, but as my partners met me on shore to see what had happened their gasps at my wound, didn't exactly fill me with a whole lot of confidence. Along the earlier line of vacation unpreparedness, we didn't even have a first aid kit on hand, not even a bandaid, and there wasn't another person for miles. It was a half hour drive and a forty minute ferry ride to the closest clinic.

The doctor who stitched me up (could have been a veterinarian for all I knew or cared) said that I should stay out of the water for at least three days. As we were three days from our journey home, that was it for my vacation right there.

By then our food situation was in dire straights and we were all pretty much out of cash. I'll remember the ride home for our drastic navigational error landing us in New York city of all places which was about five hundred kilometers off course. Out of money and hungry, i recall our dividing up the last of the condiments we'd accumulated in our steaming cooler. I drank down half a bottle of imitation maple syrup just to keep going. That was rock bottom for me. At that point I knew that I would definitely need to plan my next vacation just a little bit better.

We made it home in the end. And cliché as it may be, despite everything it was a great experience. That we never saw a television image for those fifteen days never even registered in my head at the time, but I see now that it was the beginning of the process of breaking free.



Filling The Void

00/Dec/01 - Bruised, battered and free in a world bound by the hypnotic network pendulum.


Creating This Column

00/Nov/01 - Is what Mak was doing while you were watching...

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