photos Johnny Knapp

 

We were sitting at the bar drinking pint glasses of Allen’s Coffee Brandy and half ’n’ half, getting side-long glances and questions from the local color. Then came the shots, which for some reason in rural Maine always have names like Red Headed Slut, Slippery Nipple and Blow Job, heavy on the Baileys Irish Cream. It was a Tuesday night and things were getting loose. Jim’s wife and daughter had driven him home 20 minutes ago against his wishes, as he had started to topple off his stool with increasing regularity. They’d hidden the keys to his truck and four-wheeler, however they had forgotten to hide the riding lawnmower key. Jim came staggering back through the door after parking on the front lawn of Paddy’s, leaving a wide swatch of freshly mowed grass.

After Jim was packed off home again we paid our tab amidst reminders to “Keep it between the trees.” “S’alright,” I said, “I’m from around here, I’ve been drinking and driving since I was 14″ – snowmobiles, tractors, pick-up trucks, fishing trawlers, four-wheelers and the occasional sedan.

I’d left the state a while ago and who wouldn’t have, lucky enough to have made it to legal age literate and unpregnant. Now I was back where I was born, remembering why I left, pretending I never had and trying to find a few waves.

 

appeared in Surfing Life issue 301