By: Zach Crane
It’s strange how the brain seems to harvest the good memories and almost forget about the
unpleasant ones. It’s probably some form of a defense mechanism. Last summer I moved to Orange,
California. I had a few good times, but the experience as a whole was far from intoxicating. Whenever
I reflect on the rush of the warm breeze and the smell of the salt water, my parents often bring me right
back to reality and remind me of the tearful phone calls I made on a nightly basis.
I was tired of my home town. I was tired of my friends. I was tired of seeing familiar faces. I was
tired of fox racing t-shirts and sky high diesel trucks overflowing with ratty haired skanks. So out of
impulse, I packed up my two door civic and headed for the bright lights of the West Coast.
After the novelty of the Huntington Beach, and gorgeous sunny mornings wore off, I realized moving
away had become anticlimactic. I became lonely. I missed my family and friends. I had this illusion
that I would get to California and everything would just fall into place. I thought people would just
adore me. I thought opportunities would present themselves, and I would rule the world. Although I
had some amazing opportunities that I would never have experienced in Utah, Things were far different
from my expectations.
I spent most of my time curled up in a ball inside my room with the company of Xanex, cough syrup,
and re-runs of 30 Rock. Thank God for that show. Tina Fey will never realize what she did for me that
summer. When I wasn’t being absolutely pathetic, I was spending time with my wild friend Stephen.
Let me tell you a little about Stephen. He is by far my most rambunctious, inappropriate friend.
Stephen had an irresponsible impulsive personality, one of the many things we shared in common.
That summer, Stephen would often ditch work, hop on his Suzuki Boulevard and make his way to my
Casa. Stephen was from mesa, Arizona. So it was a good seven hour drive for him to get to my neck
of the woods. When that black motorcycle pulled up to my palm tree lined driveway, everyone knew a
shit storm of trouble and antics had arrived.
Stephen and I spent most of our time looking for wild young girls to pick up on at the beach, or
exclusive parties to attend. We spent a lot of time in Hollywood and L.A. That’s a whole story of it’s
own. When Stephen was in town, all my depression and insecurities temporarily vanished. I became
this uninhibited maniac who passionately lived life like there was no tomorrow. It was therapeutic.
Rather than going into great detail of Stephen and I’s nights of escalating events, I would like to focus
on one of my simplest, but fondest memories of out time together. I had an amazing set up at the house
I lived in. It was an old fifties styles home. Two story turquoise house lined in lemon trees. It was
located in a wealthy meticulous neighborhood. Most important of all, there was a large pool in the
back yard. After a night of regrets and foolish decisions, Stephen and I would recover in my back yard
along the poolside. We would sit out there for hours. Listening to the “Black Keys” and working on
our impeccable tans. My judgmental/envious room mates would often glare out their windows as
Stephen and I soaked up the sun, as well as each others awesomeness.
The pool was large. It wrapped around the whole back side of the house. We would sit on the pool
chairs till the sun went down. We went through this hilarious phase where we talked like teenagers
from the fifties. Something about the old house I lived in, and pink plastic flamingos lining the white
fence brought out this nostalgic attitude in us. We would crack each other up for hours. I think we even had names for each other. I was Dougy, Stephen was Todd. Our absurd conversations went a
little like this:
Me: Hey Todd that Becky Joe sure is the most! I’d like to take her out to the soda bar for a Shirley
Tmple and a Roy Rogers on the rocks! Then take my dad’s Thunderbird up to the point and get to
second base. Hubba hubba.
Stephen: Dougy, Mr. Nelson would bruise your fanny black if you even so much as looked at Becky
Joe! I tell you though, that Sandy sure is a tall glass of water. That time we did the Charleston was the
It was a great distraction from the summer of leaving my comfort zone. As hard as my experience
was, I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I adore the good memories that I have managed to keep. It
was an unforgettable summer.