It was only the day before when I'd gotten out of the cool ocean after catching killer waves on my fish. The sunlight was golden and the breeze a cool caress as I walked up the smooth round river rocks. "Hi, fire blazer, would you like some freshly squeezed orange juice?" The asker sits on a lawn chair in front of his 25 year old Krishna mobile, he smiles and I see that his teeth are rotting out of his mouth. I am so thirsty and haven't eaten much food in the last couple days and am flattered with his introductory compliment, so I drink a glass and thank him.
SUVs keep driving by and my feet keep getting hotter and hotter. I start to wonder if they are blistering yet for they surely will before I am thru.
I arrive at the showers, wash the salt off my board and wetsuit. In the shade of nearby trees a homeless man calls me over. I'd been listening to him talking about Jesus to a man with deaf ears, unable to listen to someone dirty and dissheviled. So he begins to talk to me and stops and says: "You are a very special person. I am being directed to tell you some things." He then draws me a rough map on ripped off piece from a brown paper bag. It shows directions to three corners which happens to be on a reservation. He tells me that I must walk bare foot for 30 minutes to get to this cave that is actually a natural sauna. "The cave is a sweat lodge and a man can only survive 20 minutes in there."
"So, I should go there soon."
"Yeah, in the next couple days. If you can stay in there for 20 minutes, it will burn off anything."
After 40 minutes or so my feet are on fire, the sun is higher no rides have left me only with ire, so I turn around. The street get hotter and I realize that there will be no waves for me today. Black Beam is in the shop and after several days of elation, high altitude feeling, my airship had been punctured and I had begun to descend, forced to accept the presence of gravity once again.
Somehow, I make it back on my aching feet. The first place I go is to Farmer and the Cook. It is closed but Steve Sprinkle is up on the roof cleaning dust off his solar panels. I call up: "You need some help?"
Steve pauses, thinks it over, stares at me with those laser beam eyes of his. I wonder if he has X-ray vision and then he says "Sure".
I remember running into Steve a couple days earlier. He's standing in the edge of the ocean in his wetsuit with his long board under his arm and he reminded my of a killer whale. I look down at the t-shirt I am wearing: killer whale. The water feels cool and oh so refreshing on my damaged feet. They will end up hurting for the next 6 week or so and then thick layers of skin will peel off but they will be fine after that. I grab a broom and brush each group of panels while Steve hoses them down. We work on each group of 5 before moving on to the next. And then start over again at the next row. We finish up and I say my good bye, happy to help.