I stopped drinking at the age of 19, so needless to say, St. Patrick’s day means a little less to me as it does to many others in my age group. I got off work and saw the ocean moving. 30 mph onshore winds tend to have that effect. While most people my age were at the bars medicating, the thought struck me that I should be doing the same, only in my own fashion. With the Pacific raging, I drove down to the Venice Pier and whipped out my camera. The motion of the water would make for some awesome long exposures, along with the moving clouds from the passing storm.
Piers have always had a highly therapeutic effect on me. While growing up about 45 minutes inland, my father would be absent 4 months of the year due to his profession, Accounting. My mother, who was also left alone during this period, would take me on short trips every weekend. I always wanted to go to the ocean. In addition to being an accountant, my father was also an avid fisherman, which is why I would nearly always bring a fishing pole to honor him, of sorts, by fishing on the local piers. With my mother reading next to me in a beach chair, I would cast out and bring back all sorts of weird creatures that live in the coastal waters of Southern California. Fishing from these awesome structures quickly became my way of feeling close to my father, even when he was not around. Piers now give me nearly the same feeling that I get when I visit home. I left the pier last night with a smile, even being alone and sober on St. Patrick’s day.
(P.S. Don’t take this post as me feeling sorry for myself about my Dad being absent some of the time. He was and still is a great father which is why I wanted to feel close to him in the first place. I just feel fortunate to have a mother who doesn’t mind the smell of rotting mackerel too much.)