by Amy Waeschle
I’m cold. My feet are cold. My hands are cold. My face is cold. I study the misty horizon, the black-rock seastacks, the high cliffs crowded with green, century-old trees. I love the northwest, but it’s so dang cold here. I shiver in my wetsuit, all five millimeters of it, and paddle over to Kurt. “Can we move to Mexico?” He looks at me and smiles. “Soon,” he says.
Moving to Mexico is Wild Ass Plan #96. Wild Ass Plans (we call them WAPs for short) are dreams, hopes, and wishes. A better name for them might be Wants Beyond Means, but that sounds too pessimistic. WAPs were invented by our good friend Rick, whose WAPs include: building his own home, organizing a paddleboard race across Puget Sound, perfecting the art of noseriding, and retiring at the age of 43.
Kurt, Rick and I are always cooking up WAPs, especially when we take trips together, which is often. Fortunately, we have Rick’s wife Kitty to keep us in line — she’s our Voice of Reason. However, the three of us know that secretly, she has WAPs of her own, like horse ownership and razing her backyard to make a perfect pasture. Sometimes we can pull her into our WAPs, like #31, which is to start a restaurant someplace warm, where we can surf and she can ride her horse on the beach. “I’m in!” she tells us. So you can see why Mexico (WAP #96) might just work.
My WAPs all incorporate surfing, but of course there’s WAP #4, which is to write the next great novel and sell a million copies. I’ve told the guys that each and every WAP will be approved for immediate funding when that day arrives. This promise works nicely into my WAP #10, which is to quit my job so that I can write full-time.
Kurt’s WAP #17 involves buying a van and fueling it with biodiesel for surf road-trip glory. He can be found most Sunday mornings scanning the classifieds, his mind awash in WAP rapture. Now and then I’ll see his eyebrows twitch and he’ll mutter a conspicuous “hmm.”
So when Kurt’s reply to my Mexico question is “soon”, he is only partly lying. “Soon” is a typical WAP response that means, “Yes. As soon as we get funding clearance (which could be any day) we’ll do it.”
Looking at the frozen sky and waiting for waves, I cross my arms and put my gloved hands in my armpits, hoping for warmth. Kurt spins and drops into a steely gray wave. I turn to Rick, whose lips are pinched tight from the cold. “Have you finished that novel yet?” he asks. I sight an incoming wave and spin for it. “Not yet.” I reply, smiling. “Soon, though,” I add as I begin paddling. “Definitely soon.”