It was three months ago exactly that I encountered ‘Big Gut’. At first I didn’t see him. How do you see something that isn’t supposed to exist? Yeah sure, we have heard all the stories of its appearance from other crazy people but you never believe those stories. Do you?
My story begins at a lonely place on an wild Island where the Sheoak trees meet the sea and the sun swishes through the cosmos from right to left as you stare across to the mainland. An Island where myths abound and ghosts of the past haunt the quest for a future free of emotional encumbrance.
‘Big Gut’ is an enigma. Never has it showed itself to an authority of any kind so Big Gut finds itself as one of those rare, crypto zoological riddles that makes them question their own sanity, those poor souls that happen upon it’s whereabouts.
Not since I was a young man had I had the opportunity to even examine where ‘BIG GUT’ could live. In those days my friend had a portable VHS recorder with its own camera and we could examine locations but that’s was twenty years ago and I hazard to guess the tapes are all lost and I haven’t been surfing much for ten years and when I have its usually by myself and even though its my profession rarely do I take a any thing to record moving pictures with.
But this day was different. I had the fortune and foresight to, on this occasion, take a camera with me to this un-named location and I left it in the trusty hands of my boy while I negotiated the position where I would enter the water.
“Remember” I told him “ I haven’t really seen myself surf in years, I need to see what I am doing wrong and doing right”
Of course I had no idea of what he would capture. I guessed maybe I would see, my board was too big, maybe too small, I didn’t paddle hard enough, my bottom turns were shit. You know something I could adjust.
So I proceeded to have the worst fucking surf in my life! I was confused and upset, nothing was going right, well it was a left hander, but still, nothing was working. An awesome day, in retrospect, to see what was going wrong!
One other thing about this day, when I look back, was I was quite spooked at times too. Sitting there in the line up feeling alone but not alone. It was like something sinister was there with me, just sitting below the surface. Ever present and yet not showing itself, like a phantom. I didn’t know what it could be. It was like a heavy weight bearing on my soul arch and with the hairs on my neck stand stiff and quivering in the wind I called it quits, with a nervous look around and went in.
Have you ever looked back and seen the reality of the world around you? Have you ever become of aware of something so ghastly, that its appearance at once beggars belief but in its awful, ugly, truth explains to you the ugly realities about your own life in ways that would ignite profound changes in the way you move about the world from then on.
The image my son captured of ‘Big Gut’ that day did just that. I am not going to say that ‘Big Gut’ sums up everything that is wrong with my return to surfing at the age of 44 today but I tell you, I never want to see it again!
I am now a believer. The truth is out there. Take a look for yourself and if you are lucky enough to never ever see this beast, be aware, it can creep up on you at anytime ,if you are not careful, and rip your dreams apart.
Since this day, ‘Big Gut’ has become a fading memory, which is part of the reason I write this today. I haven’t been in the water and have made a vow not to until ‘Big Gut ‘has been completely erased from my mind and body.
I do have a screen shot of ‘Big Gut’ but I am not sure if I want this to go public.