Ocean Spray | Part Two
by Lucas Taratus
If you remember, John and I were stuck on a remote beach somewhere along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. While trying to drive out to a party called Ocean Spray, our truck got stuck in the sand well below the tide line. After doing battle with the beach in a fury and panic that lasted until his hands were raw, John stormed off, defeated, to commit suicide, the Japanese way. It was getting dark, the tide was approaching, and I was getting hungry.
This is the rest of our story...
Fuck him and fuck the ridiculous tragedy that he has left me to tend to. For all the brotherly love that class and setting afforded him, for all his mystical awareness, he was no less prone to the pull of selfishness than the common man. While I was left to deal with a predicament that got increasingly dire with each crashing wave, he sat peacefully on the crest of a dune about to play out an absurd suicide fantasy!
Technically this was my problem, and I understood that. The truck was in my name after all, and if it did sink into the earth, I'd have to return to Rent-a-Wreck Monday morning with a nothing more than sob story and a sandy set of keys. Still, this was not a good occasion for betrayal, time was running out.
To make things worse, I had no idea what the repercussions of such a catastrophe would be. I mean, does insurance cover acts of testosterone induced stupidity or doesn't it? It sure would have been comforting to know.
Anxious beyond imagination, I stood motionless while I imagined tired fisherman taking up residence inside the half sunk Toyota I had just "broke" and therefore "bought." Good god, what was I to do? John was of no help, and even if he were, neither of us had the skill or pure strength it would take to free the shiny red beast.
Then, suddenly, the answer became perfectly clear. You see, when situations arise that are both desperate and inane; situations that require an intelligence and cunning, but not of the sort possessed college boys; when your cat is stuck in a tree, when your snowmobile won't start, and god willing when your truck is stuck in the sand, there is only one place two lily white boys for the upstate can turn...
"Rednecks!" shouted John from the atop of the dune "Rednecks! Over there, they can help you!"
That's when I saw it. A silver Ford pickup of comical proportions barreling down the beach without a challenge at all. It must have stood four feet from the ground, and it rode on tires similar in size to those that used litter my elementary school playground. On the front was a winch that looked powerful enough to rip itself from its mountings under intense stress, and peeking from behind the cab was a row of lights that looked as though they could illuminate a little league field that is had that not been concealed beneath yellow and black smiley face covers. This animal was definitely the "alpha" truck on the beach, and quite possibly our only way out of this mess.
At first I was concerned about flagging these boys down for help, but then I realized that no true redneck, at least not one of the caliber we needed, would be able to resist the pull of two city boys stuck in their turf. And I was right, because within moments they arrived, bringing with them a cloud of kicked up sand and dust that made it difficult to see, or even breathe.
"Man, this baby sure does toss up some sand!" shouted Luke up to the driver that he couldn't see through the dust.
Fully aware that the man had just said "skulls," and certain that their predicament should be obvious to even the simplest of folk, Luke proceeded with caution.
"Fucking stuck! That's what the matter is. Man, my friend and I have been trying all we can, but our truck won't budge. You got any ideas?" quipped Luke.
After hopping out of the Ford the driver's image become clear. He was huge, if you know what I mean. Not fat, or not just fat, anyway, but large. Let me put it to you this way: next to him, the truck didn't look big at all.
Without wasting time on pleasantries, he paced alongside the Toyota a few times, stopping twice to bend over to peak at the underside of the pickup. It didn't take him long to size up our situation.
"Well, I reckon we can we can help ya out," laughed the driver, aware of the pun he had just made.
Then, like a well-rehearsed pit crew, Junior and Cleatus sprang to action. Cleatus tied his end of the rope around a bar behind the front bumper of our truck, while Junior tied his end to a tow hook on the back of the Ford. When finished, they both pulled their respective ends to check the strength of their knots, and nodded to each other with approval. Satisfied, Cleatus jumped into the drivers seat of the Ford while Junior took control of the Toyota. Then came the amazing part. Somehow, as though the two brothers were communicating telepathically, they managed to rock each other's trucks in sync.
By slowly caressing their gas peddles in unison, and turning their wheels at all the appropriate angles, the brothers caused the Toyota to suddenly leap from its cradle and bolt over the sand. To make the most of their momentum, Cleatus towed the Toyota closer to the harder, wetter, sand nearer to the water where it would have little difficulty keeping its wheels above ground.
Spotting the action from above, John ran down from the dune, fists in the air, screaming for joy. It was good to be alive, and it was even better to have the truck free...
When it was over, we thanked our saviors, and with our tails between our legs, but our exuberance in full view, returned the Toyota to the small parking lot at the entrance of the beach. This was where Friends and Family had set up their shuttling operation. For a small donation, you could be whisked to the party in proper four-wheel drive style, and never once fear financial ruin. What a deal.
By now, most people had already been brought out, so there were only about twenty of us still in need of a ride. I must say, you haven't lived until a Jeep has come to a screeching halt along side your feet, and without saying a word, tossed yourself and your bags in the back, seconds before taking off over a moonlit beach. The whole scene was completely surreal, like something out of a raved up version of Romancing the Stone.
The camp was about a mile from the entrance to the beach, and looked a bit like a modern day circling of wagons, with several 4x4 trucks enclosing a field of tents, blankets, and sleeping bags. In the middle of it all was a DJ coffin surrounded by generators, with stacks of speakers on either side. A large piece of the beach directly in front of the DJ stand had been turned into the dance floor, and in it danced party kids of every denomination from all over the southeast and mid Atlantic. Glowsticks in hand and mouth, they bounced in unison like a pulsating beacon of harmony beaming directing into space through the cloudless sky above.
There was one raver in particular, though, that need to be distinguished from the crowed. Wapor, the mystical man whose invitation had brought John and myself to this point, but whose existence was still of some debate, needed to be found. John and I spent over an hour combing through the camp searching for our target, and while we encountered several people whose lives he had crossed, we could find no one who knew his exact location. Tired, eager to dance, and convinced that he existed spiritually, if not physically, we decided to give up our search for Wapor, content that some discoveries are best not made.
Over the course of the night the music climbed from jungle and break beat, to House, and then to Trance like a express elevator to the heavens, and I ascended with it until my body could take no more. Sometime in the early hours, weak, half-drunk, and craving a lass by my side, I returned to our camp and slid into my sleeping bag ready to be rocked gently to sleep the soothing music spewing forth from the DJ booth. Before long, I was fast asleep, oblivious to the wicked party that continued to rage in my absence.
If you've ever fallen asleep at a club or a rave, then you may understand what I went though when I awoke, and if not, I'll do my best to explain. You see, the music never stops, and the volume certainly doesn't get any lower, so in order to fall asleep your body must cut the flow of information from your ears to your brain. So when I awoke a couple of hours later, and my ears kicked back on, it felt a bit like having two skillets slammed together behind your head. The experience was intense, but soon the pain faded and I began to take in my surroundings.
As I raised my head I could see the sun over the water just beginning to slice through the horizon, and from behind me I could hear the beautiful throbbing of melodic trance coming from the speakers, it was as though all of my senses were being indulged to their limits. I'll avoid the obvious comparison to sex, because it wasn't like that at all, it was different. It was spiritual.
As I looked around I saw a beach littered with groups of people just like me. Some were bundled up, and some were cuddling with each other, but all were listening to the music while their hair blew in the breeze as they waited for the sun to rise. And when the sun did finally break completely free from the sea, the crowed began to clap and cheer, and that's when I knew for sure that I'd be back again next year.
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