San Francisco, Monterey and Big Sur
San Francisco, Monterey and Big Sur
The year 1992, I left the Iraq border for New Jersey. I spend three months at Fort Dix, N.J. in the Winter months. I was attached to a reserve unit and I had no orders. While I waited for my new orders. I went to the Winter Atlantic many times. She was dangerous, wonderful and cold. After three months, I received orders for Fort Ord, California. I loved the Atlantic and I promised myself to return to the eastern Atlantic shore and swim into her arms.
I drove home to Michigan first. I spend two weeks with the family. I left Michigan in late March for Fort Ord, California. I decided to make the road-trip a five-day journey. I stopped in four cities and states, I wanted to see and spend time in. I drank some beer in each city and I roamed each cities for 6-8 hours each. The long road-trip allowed me to regain my mind and my thoughts.
I remembered I had to stay one extra day in Reno. The mountain to cross. Snow-end. I liked Reno, small city, alive, wild and crazy. I remember seeing Sacramento coming down the mountain. No snow and sunny. I made it to California and I was content to see her.
My first stop in California was San Francisco. Peaceful city and kind people. I fell in love with the city and the Pacific. At the Fisherman Wharf, I ate seafood and I watched the sea. I drank my coffee and wrote poetry for the powerful and beautiful Pacific. I looked at the setting sun and I thanks the gods of life and death for my orders for California.
I left San Francisco for the two-hour drive to Fort ord. I arrived at 9 pm on a Friday night. Young soldiers signed me in, gave me a room and he told me. Hello, goodbye and see you at 9am on Monday.
I dropped off my belonging in my room and I went to Monterey. I walked the beach for one hour. She was the most beautiful place I ever seen. Small city on the Monterey bay. I went to the Monterey Fisherman wharf and I ordered a beer and a whiskey. Near me were three surfers, two young men and a young woman. Tan skin, muscles everywhere, drinking and talking loud. I sat without speaking. I watched the sea and I enjoyed the escape from the truck. The female surfer smiled at me and she told her friend. Never met a quiet soldier and they laughed. I turned to them and I saw. Three wild people smiling at me. I told them, just arrived tonight. Left Iraq in December and I am here now. One of them reached out his hand and he told him. My name is Jack and my ugly friend is Paulie. The pretty girl is Rachel, the wonder girl. She told him. You did good, you ain’t dead. You will love California.
Rachel reached out her hand and she asked. Where you from? I told them. My name is Johnnie and I am from Michigan. Rachel smiled at her friends and she asked. You got some wheels and some gas? I told her. A Dakota truck that fit four with no trouble. Paulie looked at Jack and he told him. Maybe Johnnie needs to see God’s country. Rachel smiled and she looked at me. She told me. We need some excitement. We have no wheel, got some cash and we need an adventure. Are you in? I smiled and I told her yes.
Jack told me. Need some beer and some booze. I drove to the base. We bought five gallons of rum, whiskey and Tequila. Two cases of beer and some cigarettes. They were very content. Cheap payment for drink at the P.X. We loaded-up the truck and we drove the hour drive to Big Sur. I stopped three times. It was God’s country. No cities, the sea in view and beautiful landscape. Quiet.
My new friends laugh and sang with Jim Morrison. We arrived at Pfiefer beach at 1am. One small sign for the entrance. We carry the beer and drink down a lonely path that led to perfect beauty. Large rocks surrounded the small bay and the water was kicking. They dropped beer and the drink, stripped down to their underwear. They ran toward the sea. They were dancing with the waves. Rachel ran back to me in her bra and panties and she smiled and she told me. Best stripped down to your underwear and enjoy the sea. She hugged me, kissed my face and she ran toward her friends.
I stripped-down to my boxers and I watched the three dance, laugh and sing with the sea. I looked at the moon and the stars. I thank them for the kind people and my new home California. I joined them.