Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Longboard…

…lies silently in our room. It came from our friend, N., yesterday. He came by to take us surfing at Diamond Head.

N. is a copywriter/translator/surfer/motorcycle rider whom we've known from our days making motorcycle videos. Big Dog loves to work with N.

"We've got radar love, baby!" he explained to our bike rider during our Alabama shoot when they were getting ready to do the bike-to-car shots. "I don't have to say anything, because by the time I've said it, it's too late. He knows telepathically when to speed up, slow down, come closer to the camera, move away. I know I can't ask that of you, but I need you to at least trust me, even if it feels like I'm dangerously close."

N. also used to live in Tokyo. After he got married and had a child, they moved to Los Angeles, then to Hawaii. I envied his life. He's go surfing, usually at North Shore, in the early morning, get home for breakfast, do some writing, then go back out for more surfing, usually at Diamond Head, in the afternoon. But in some role reversal, he's now working most of the time, while I am mostly goofing off.

"You haven't changed at all!" Big Dog and I said in amazement when we saw him yesterday for the first time in more than 4 and a half years.
"Ah, it's all on the inside." He gave us a wry smile. "I still look like the same old N., but now I'm Corporate N."
"Well, of all the people who are or could be timeshare salesmen, I always thought you'd make a fantastic one. You are so genuine. You love these islands and the lifestyle and your sincerity and enthusiasm is really infectious."

Yes, surfer/slacker N is now selling timeshares. But he's good at his job, gets loads of benefits and he's happy.

"I don't know. I've never worked very hard at anything all my life, unlike you guys. One day, I just thought, what am I doing? Now I'm working hard but enjoying it!"

It was good to see, too, that in Hawaii, you can work hard and still not have to give up the things you enjoy. For N., surfing, riding, and, now, flying. Oh, and being a proud, doting dad. His daughter Shaula who was a 16 year old high school girl who loved metal bands when I last saw her, is now 20 and has a rocketing modeling career. I can't wait to see her.

Kids grow up so quickly. But us old farts, well, we stay childish forever. After some sunset surfing, we had a Keystone Kops moment trying to get N.'s longboard into the tiny elevator. It fit. Barely. Diagonally. As luck would have it, 2 other people got into the elevator at the same time. We had to squeeze under the board. Oh, why don't I have a camera when these things happen?


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