Both dad and mom made us go to church every Sunday when we were children. Both dad and mom were play-Christians and did not accept Christ until really late in their lives. I know my sister accepted Christ when she was nine years old, but that was probably due to my Mom’s derangement, due to my sister’s current take on Christianity. My older brother accepted Christ when he was twelve.
What I saw of my family puzzled me, like the blind leading the blind to slaughter, it puzzled me. I’ve always suspected most the preachers we heard taught their own ideas of what God teaches. Many many times at some sermon, I would balk, due to the sheer idiocy of their teachings.
I watched as many believed without believing. I refused to follow that path to stupidity. I kept returning to that thought of what happened to the incantations spoken by the witches of egypt in that they showed pharoah they could make the first three plagues happen that God through Moses made occur. I always laugh at that, the mages could make it happen but couldn’t stop it from happening.
I figured, logically, all I’ve seen is God this and God that, while beholding family that lived an conspicuous lie. I decided I would like to see the other side. I knew none of them knew it, and I figured let’s meet this so-called enemy and see if this belief has merit.
At the young age of fourteen, a freshman in high school, I visited the library and checked out a dozen or so books on sorcery, demons, summoning. I found many sources, many books and many references but found not one Bible. One of the key books that tells about demons and spells isn’t allowed in a public library! I guess libraries aren’t about knowledge. Who drives you, Idiot?
In a week I learned all about demons, spells, conjuring, sorcery, and evil. Towards the end of that week, I was in my room, door shut, not doing my school work and reading about conjuring.
On the fifth night, something visited me. The hairs on the back of my neck rose up rigid and down my spine trickled pure fear. I was terrified beyond what I thought existed. In the chair, I sat frozen for I know not how long, a minute or an hour, it seemed eternity. When I could finally move, I flew out of my chair and downstairs to the family room, quietly suffering, slowly recovering while my dad snored in his chair, my mom spaced out in her chair, and my siblings watched TV.
That night showed me evil, that feeling I have had afterwards, in certain places that still exist and I know evil roams there to this day. I know now the name of evil and I know from whence it comes.
Once we found it, it became one of our favorite spots, the absolute peak of Pleasure Point. From the street, take the path down to the rock shelf, pass between two boulders, head right, and there is a huge shelf, butted to a six foot seawall. This shelf extends from the seawall out about thirty feet in a triangalar shape. About midway along the seawall is a set of narrow stairs that lead up to a house with a locked gate. Above the seawall the cliff was covered, as usual, in ice plant gently sloping up to the wire fence that marked the border of that house.
At the furtherest part of the seawall, part of the shelf has given way to wind and tide, so the seawall hangs over the sand waving in the breeze. Our spot was near that end. We would sit, talk, listen, and smoke some grass. Sometimes it was six of us, sometimes one, and then others would arrive. The view was fantastic sitting on the foot thick seawall and looking out to sea. Sundown always brought incredible sunsets, whether it was a sunny day or storming.
On this particular time, it was near 10PM at night. The sun had long since gone down and the moon refused to rise. It was very dark. If you are an outdoorsman, you know that once your eyes adjust, you can see amazingly well in the black. The street lights and houses did bring indirect light, but we were invisible to anyone trying to see us, even with binocolurs.
We passed a joint until we got our high going good. This time it was Bob and I, my chess buddy and prime competitor for Ann’s awareness. Sitting on that wall, watching these waves hit the shelf and explode always garnered our attention. It still does, except today there are fences everywhere to protect the stupid. The waves were breaking on the shelf and only a few would had the strength to actually cover part of the shelf.
Suddenly both of us got this idea to play chicken with the ocean. This was our first time of doing an instant unspoken shared idea. We hopped down from our perch and approached the tip of the triangle. A few waves came and went as we closed in on our target, as close to the point as possible. Both of us walking side by side, quietly moving towards the ocean. The ocean responded. A huge wave hit the tip of the shelf, it’s white glistening for a moment as our minds wrapped on the size of it. Also of like mind we both said “holy shit!” turned and ran for the seawall. To this day I believe it was pure adrenaline that allowed us to leap the wall and dig our hands deep into the ice plant. Once secured, we turned our heads to watch this monster arrive. It was six feet high and moving fast. We dug in deeper, expecting to be washed away. The wave hit the wall and exploded straight up five feet above our heads. When it fell, it hit the top of the sea wall and gently splashed our feet. Three seconds could not have passed during this event. Our deaths were imminent, yet the ocean spared us that day.
Our talks often ranged from physics to math to life to you know.
On Mariposa Street, I had made friends with a family three houses down the block. Their dad was a doctor, and owned a sailboat. The Pine boys: Scott was my age, but I prefered his year younger brother Mark, Bruce was my sister’s age. Because their father rented an office from my father, the connection to sailing started. Otherwise, distance would have eliminated those beginning friendships.
On a fateful October afternoon, Scott called me up to go sailing with him and his friends. Bob was with me so both of us went sailing on Monterey Bay. Turned out there were sixteen of us on that 38-foot sloop, thirteen guys and three girls. It was one of those beautiful days on the Bay, while the sun was up. As soon as we cleared the harbor, we met a unexpected surprise: pipes of hash, half-gallon bottles of wine, and beer. Our meager joints stayed in our pockets.
A hour or so passed and Bob followed me below. Everyone was on deck, so it was just him and I as we sat down to the table to take a break from the wind. Sitting there having a smoke, we smelled something odd. Checking stuff lying about, I noticed an open backpack at my feet, and something that looked like broken discus on top. I picked it up and pondered it. It was hard as a rock with a good third of it missing. Bob and I pondered this odd item for a bit then I smelled it. Wow! Hash! Being the person I am, I put it back on top of the pack; knowing Bob, my trusted friend, both of us let it go from our minds.
Finishing our smoke we went topside. Scott was entertaining; standing on the cabin, with his back to the mainsail, jumping in the air and landing full force on the sail. He tried to get others to follow his lead, but none of us were in any shape to attempt it.
We sailed the Bay until the sun began sinking and we started back. About halfway to our goal, the cable to the mainsail snapped. Scott tried to start the motor. A north wind was up and blowing out of the mouth of the harbor making it most difficult to sail in, ‘cause it requires tacking in a very small space. The motor wouldn’t start.
The sun was down, it was dark, and everyone had gone below but Bob, Scott and I. Scott was the sailor, I had been around boats but had yet to be taught anything, and it was Bob’s first time sailing. Scott showed us important details and we followed his orders. Scott decided he would bring the boat in using just the jib. As we neared the harbor entrance, we could clearly see the rocks that mark the mouth of the harbor.
The Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor was once a series of ponds. The Army Corp of Engineers took it upon themselves to make a rock jetty the wrong way so that every winter the mouth of the harbor fills with sand and makes some great surfing waves.
Scott relayed what he was about to do to everyone. The people in the cabin began to freak out. Bob and I thought this was a grand adventure, the thought of dying soon never entered our minds. Not so our passengers, after a shove or two, they remained below.
We sailed into the harbor. We tacked often in that tight narrow course reaching the inner bouy. People on the jetty were shouting at us to go back. Below their clamor, the waves crashed and exploded as the wind howled. Our shouted words were ripped from our lips and tossed by the fury of the wind.
As we approached that buoy, Scott realized it was impossible, the north wind was fierce, so we turned the boat around that buoy. As we made our exit, the sets began to arrive. Santa Cruz is known for wave sets, either three to five waves with each successive wave being bigger, and that they come in nearly like clockwork. Bob and I knew the sets well, and we watched in grim anticipation as our boat approached hideous timing.
As we neared the harbor mouth, the biggest wave of a three-set was growing on our starboard bow. I looked to my left, port, and could see the jetty rocks down to the sand, about five feet over, and ten feet down was land, not ocean. We hugged the lip of that wave, passed over it’s form and sailed on away. I watched as that wave crashed against the shore and the rocks, too stunned to think.
It was more than brisk once our minds realized what had occurred. Bob and I stayed above with Scott to sail to the main wharf to tie her up to one of the many guest buoys. Eventually, the harbor master found us to tow us back to the harbor.