The waves were cracking, booming loudly on the reef right outside the beachside home I found myself and my family carousing. There was no wind on those waves, nor people. I picked up the phone and called Robby.
I wish that my memory matched the vivid recall of my dreams. Upon awaking, I felt as if I was still stuck in this dream, and didn’t find it that funny. Robby has always treated me well, and would never have said the things he did to me in this dream. Still, the realization that the end result is reality shook me like a Kelby doll being ragged in the turbulence of a crushing napalm. Who writes like that?
In this reality, I’d sent two of my books, Maui Glory Days, to Robby’s mom, Carol. One was signed for his family and one to read for Robby. Yes, selfishly I had hopes that he might endorse it like he does in his FB videos of this and that product. Of course, they are products of his own, but just one little photo on FB of him smiling, holding the book up with his usual hat on backwards, flashing a shaka sign would have propelled my little book into the Amazon stratosphere.
A couple of months went by and neither The King nor any of his other major disciples had not spoken highly nor lowly on SM about the book, a book largely about them. Naish, Waltze, Schweitzer, Angulo, Simmer, Polakow, Kalama, Haywood… not one word. Mumsters.
Then, Bruce Matlack included me in his anti-pumping group email, and there was The King’s email address. I thought, what the heck. I’d just write Robby to see if he had at least received the book. And then, to my surprise, Rob kindly wrote back that he’d pick it up over Christmas, right after he returned from New York and his new film premier. Ah, great, I thought! I love this guy!
With this promise in my pocket and the one that had been dragging on for months from Delius Klasing to consider publishing the book in several languages, it was hard not to get my hopes high. The publisher was just waiting on the editor from Surf magazine to give his approval or not, and if so, they’d present it at the annual meeting for strong consideration. The editor, Manuel, loved it.
Fast forward two months later. I wrote Rob again to see if he had read the book. No reply. Not that I expected one. Between business, movie producing, and wave chasing, the guy is busy as hell. It probably got buried amongst his millions of emails and I don't want him to think I’m groveling. I just want hime to read the damn book.
Worse, book sales had taken their natural course and diminished to one per week. I only make about a buck a book, so there went my dream of retiring and finishing my other five books, books that have nothing to do with windsurfing. Hemingway-esques and Steinbeck-eeks, though not as good nor depressing. Perhaps I should drink more.
Then, Delius Klasing replied that, while they and the editor both loved the book, they only did well with Instructional books. There was no market for windsurfing books. So it was all up to me and my self-publishing. And Robby. Or whiskey.
I lay down my head to sleep and like one of those long drawn out advertisements revealing what supplement do we actually need to take to get rid of this belly fat, we can finally get on with the dream:
The waves were cracking, booming loudly on the reef right outside the beachside home I found myself and my family carousing. There was no wind on those waves, nor people. I told my wife, after discussing that she doesn’t remember her dreams, at least not as vividly as I do, that I had to make a call. Book sales were suffering.
Robby began to speak before I could even say hello. “What’s up, Jonathan?”
“Oh, hey, Robby. How are you?”
“Good. What can I do for you?”
“I was just down here at… I think it’s Waltze’s, or perhaps Polakow bought it…”
“Right! Angulo’s. Anyway, the waves are cracking.”
“Right. So what is it you want?”
“Well, I was just wondering, you know, if you had a chance to read my book.”
“Nope. I told you I wasn’t interested in publishing.”
“I just thought you might find it interesting. There’s a lot about you in there. I realize there’s a lot about you in every book about windsurfing…”
“I just don’t have time nor, I hate to put it to you, the interest.”
“Well, maybe you’d enjoy some of the stories about your friends in there?”
Silence. More waves cracking. I thought I’d lost him, and then…
“Okay, Jonathan. I tell you what. Send me a fifty, a bag of dog food, and a peanut butter cup in one envelope. If the peanut butter cup isn’t crushed when I get it, I’ll read it.”
“Oh, great! Wait, what? A bag of dog food and… a peanut butter cup?”
“In other words, I’m not interested in reading it.”
He hangs up. I look at my wife and she asks me how it went. I want to tell her, but I wouldn’t want to say anything bad about The King. So I eat my words. There is a banana in there. A banana is what gives you the belly fat.
Then I woke up. Robby is still The King. He's a great guy. He's just too busy. Maybe one day, when he slows down to 80, or on a 20 hour plane trip, he'll pick up the book and start reading, and never be able to put it down.