Life In The Slow Lane...
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San Diego, CA, United States
This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fatigued But Flattered

It's been a few days since I've last written in this here blog. Not because I didn't want to, not because I have nothing to say, even a brain injury couldn't keep that from happening, but because of the fatigue, both mental and physical. By Sunday evening I was spent, sore, and sleepy, for good reason.

Friday night was spent at the bar. I met a friend there and we talked about writing. His screenplays and my novel. After finishing my third beer, the bartender asked us if we wanted another round. My friends said yes and I said no. He reached for my glass.

"Can you leave that?" I asked.

"I thought you said you were done." He replied.

"Yeah, but we might share. He might pour some in my glass. I can't have much more, I have a brain injury," I answered while pointing to the scar on my head.

He stood motionless and looked at me, first glancing at my head, then into my eyes, and then at my mouth to see if I was smiling. I was smiling. I was drunk, at least buzzed from the three Pilsners I consumed throughout the night.

The next day I woke with stomach issues, the kind of pains that accompany a hangover. At times I felt nauseous. My friend an I decided to surf. I chugged water on our way to the beach to try and settle my stomach. When I wasn't downing water, I was applying sunscreen to the scar on my head. Aimee says the sunscreen will keep the scar from looking worse than it already does. I don't believe her but it's a fight that I'm not willing to participate in.

My hangover disappeared soon after getting into the water. An hour later, I was still going strong, surfing the best I had since the accident. I sat on my board and looked out to the ocean.

"That was a real nice wave you caught," one longboarder said looking at me.

"Hey thanks, a little awkward but thanks."

"Better than any I caught today," he said.

"Thanks, I appreciate it," I said before paddling away. I thought maybe he was a beginner. i wasn't sure how to take the compliment.

I surfed for another hour before the fatigue crashed on my head. I headed in. Once I got to the shore, I stood on the beach with my friend waiting for our other friend who was still out surfing. As we stood there, another surfer came jogging down the ramp onto the sand. I looked at him. He looked at me.

"Man, you were catching some great waves. I was watching you from up there," he said, pointing to some benches.

"Oh, thanks. I appreciate it. Thanks," I said. My friend Chris looked at me. I told him that it was my second compliment of the day. I joked about how I give it 110 percent and how I came out of the brain injury a better surfer. He laughed and said something about my white scar. I didn't pay much attention to it. I just laughed. A few minutes later, I started thinking about what Chris had said. It was the same thing he said before we paddled out. He laughed about my white scar. It all began to make sense. The compliments weren't just about my surf session, they came because my scar was so pronounced that I had brain injury written on my forehead.

We got home and joked about it all night. the next day we went out surfing again. I only applied a small amount of sunscreen to my scar. We surfed for the next couple of hours. I surfed the same as I had the day before but received no compliments, no standing ovations, nothing. By the end of the day, another wave of fatigue crashed on top of me and I was done.


  1. Are you really going to go over again how you are the best surfer in La Jolla? That jokes run its course dont you think??

  2. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahahahaha