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El Nino

El Nino

El Nino

This is so insane I can't believe it's going down. Cody and I have done some radical things but this is psycho. Here we are close to daybreak, in the middle of the Pacific ocean, more than three hundred miles southwest of the Channel Islands. It's been a beautiful starry night with a three quarter moon and I'm single handedly manning our forty foot sailboat. Up to now the winds have been calm, but the swell's starting to pick up.

In Santa Barbara everyone had been predicting a year of El Nino. Judging by the size and direction of the swell, I'd say they were right, and we're heading right into the beginning of it. I had been planning on crossing the ocean. Now I'm having second thoughts. I've only slept a few hours in the last few days. I'm tired, afraid, and thinking about changing course to Mexico or somewhere in Central America.

I don't know what I'm doing. This is crazy. It all started on Cody's first day of school. Summer was over. We had spent most of it on the boat working our way back from Mexico. We got back to Clidfornia and survived La Fiesta in Santa Barbara. I was trying to get geared up for Cody's school year. It was tough. In Santa Barbara, La Fiesta viva way past August. I was still in the party mood when I met his third grade teacher.

Turns out she's a sweet little surf bunny with salt water blonde hair and a killer tan. She's got these playful brown eyes, a pearly white smile and asked me if I surf.

A couple weeks later we were surfing the back side of Rincon. It was pretty small but we had a lot of fun and got to know each other pretty well.

We hit it off good and found ourselves spending alot of time together. By early October we were practically living with each other. She would either stay with us on the boat or we would stay with her at her apartment.

Before we started going out she hadn't been sexually active so she wasn't taking any type of birth of control. One night we drank a little too much wine and made love without any contraceptive. The next morning we felt really wierd about it.

"What are we gonna do if I'm pregnant?" She asked sitting on the bed with our coffee. Cody was still asleep on her sofa.

"I don't know. Whata you think?"

"I don't know. I hope I'm not. I've already had two abortions, there's no way I can go through that again."

"Well, hopefully you're not pregnant," I said, hugging up to her naked body. I kissed her neck and said, "If you are pregnant whatever you wanna do is okay with me."

"It is?"

"Yeah sweetheart, of coarse."

"Even if I wanna have the baby?"

"Sure. I love kids. My hands are full with Cody, but I'd be stoked to have another baby. Especially a little girl."

She was so happy she grabbed my face with both her hands and started to make out with me. A few minutes later some unexplainable force overwhelmed us and we were making love without any type contraceptive again.

Over the next couple weeks we discussed the possibilities. Dealing with it helped us to become even closer.

By early November I had fully repainted the boat and had a slip in Santa Barbara harbor. Our relationship was starting to interfere with her work so Cody and I were going to spend our first night in a long time, alone on the boat. I had just finished cutting the kids long blonde hair and was opening a bottle of wine when I heard someone climb aboard.

"Hey sweetheart. I'm surprised to see you here. Come on in," I said, reaching my hand out to help her down the steps.

Cody was sitting at the galley table and blurted out, "Check out my new hairstyle."

"Oh my God it looks so good. Who cut it?"


She gave me a look of surprise and said, "That haircut looks really good." She grabbed a handful of my long, curly blonde hair and asked, "When are you going to cut yours?"

"I don't know... Maybe soon." I thought I was doing good to cut Cody's hair. His hair was still a little long but you could see his ears and bright blue eyes. I guess I was still looking like a sheepdog with my hair all grown into my face. I poured a glass of Cabernet and asked, "Ya want a glass?"

"I don't know," she said, taking the bottle from my hand. She looked at the warning label and said, "It might not be a good idea."

Somehow I caught her drift. "Oh yeah, you took a pregnancy test. What'd they say?" I asked, knowing the answer.

"I'm pregnant."

"You are?"


We silently embraced each other while we thought. She spent that night on the boat and thought alot about the two abortions she had. We talked alot that night and woke up the next morning looking towards having the baby.

A few weeks went by. We were so happy. I felt like Andy Griffith when I took Cody to school. He was the teacher's pet and all the other kids knew she was going to have his little brother or sister.

Over the next couple months we planned to get a house in Carpinteria, have the baby and be the happy little Carp. family.

Cody was jazzed about it. He'd been wanting a little brother or sister for a while, and couldn't wait to finally have someone he could boss around.

We had a nice Christmas together. By mid January she started experiencing hormonal changes and was having second thoughts about the whole thing.

I understood. I had already dealt with Cody's mother being pregnant and remembered how much pressure there was. It was definitely a trippy scene and the scene was starting to trip out again. One night we were at her apartment. Cody was asleep. We were trying to sleep but there was too much on our minds.

"Do you really wanna go through with this?" She asked.

"You mean having the baby?"


"Yeah, I do. We've come this far. I think we should stick to our guns."

She rolled onto my chest and asked, "You won't leave me will ya?"

"No sweetheart, of course not. I think we should get married."

"You do?"

"Yeah. Will you marry me?"

She was so happy she almost started to cry as she hugged up to me and said, "Yes honey. I'd love to marry you."

"Can we get married before we get our house?"

She thought about it for a second and replied, "I don't know, maybe we should think about it a little more."

I hugged up to her, said, "Okay," and then started to kiss her. A few minutes later we were making love and wound up getting a good night's sleep.

A couple weeks later her ex-boyfriend came back into her life and brainwashed her into having an abortion.

I totally freaked. She told me that she didn't love me any more and that she had made an appointment to have the abortion on Friday.

"Wait a minute. You haven't thought about this long enough. Fridays only three days away. I think you should think about it a little longer."

"No, I've made up my mind and there's nothing you can say to change it."

I was trippin'. I mean this was my son's school teacher. All the kids knew she was pregnant. There had to be something I could do. I knew she wasn't in love with her ex-boyfriend, but he had definitely gotten to her.

"Sweetheart, what went wrong?" I asked.

"Nothing went wrong, I just want to be with Jim."

"What about the baby?"

"It's not a baby yet."

"Then what the hell is it?"

"It's just blood and tissue."

"That's bullshit Carolynn. That baby's got a strong heart and you know it."

"I told you it's not a baby."

"Bullshit!" I yelled sitting up.

"Don't yell at me like that," she cried.

"Okay, I'm sorry," I paused for a moment before I asked, "Where are you having the abortion?"

"I can't tell you."


"I'm afraid you'll do something to stop me."

She was right about that. "What about Cody and the other kids?"

"It's not that big of a deal."

"The hell it's not. Cody's got his heart set on having a little brother or sister."

"Look I've already made up my mind and I have to get up early. If you won't go to sleep you're gonna have to leave."

Cody was already asleep. It didn't look like talking was going to do any good. I was going to have to break out the heavy artillery.

"Can I give you a back rub?"

"Okay, but don't get any ideas."

I kind of smiled as I helped take off her shirt figuring she'd be able to feel how much I love her and change her mind. I greased my hands with some of her lotion and ran my hands up and down her back for several minutes. Then I began to loosen up her shoulder and neck muscles. She was tense but started to relax after a few minutes. Her back was strong and muscular from surfing and she liked me to dig in pretty hard with my fingers. I knew her legs had been sore from jogging so I started to rub out the back of her thighs. She was wearing some sort of women's silk boxers and let me run my hands up 'em to massage her buns. She was like a princess to me and knew it. She had to be able to feel how much I loved her. After rubbing out the back side of her calves and feet, I asked, "Do you want me to do the front side of your legs?"

"You don't have to."

"I want to."

"Okay," she said, as she rolled over lying on her back. Her room was lit by candle. I could see that her nipples were hard as I rubbed out her legs. I'd been sitting on my knees between her legs, massaging the top of her thighs. The mood was right. It was time to make my move. I leaned down and started to suck the inside of her left thigh.

With both hands she grabbed my head and said, "Stop it. We're not going to be doing this anymore."

Woh, I couldn't believe it. I thought I had her. In a puppy dog tone I asked, "Can I keep rubbing out your legs?"

"Okay, but that's all."

For the next several minutes I drooled over her body as I massaged her legs. She was letting me rub inside the silk boxers and was fully goin' off on my touch. Then I started to kiss the inside of her thigh again.

"I told you not to do that, now stop it."

"I sat up and totally copped an attitude. "Can't we just enjoy our last night together?"

"No, I can't be with you any more."

"Why not?"

"If I make love with you I'll feel totally used."

"How can you say that? Just yesterday we were going to be married."

"That's before I realized how much Jim means to me."

"I can't believe you," I said, climbing out of her bed.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going out."

"You're going to one of your old girlfriends' house, aren't you."

I grabbed my jeans and said, "No I'm just going to shoot some pool."

"What about Cody?"

"I'll be back in a couple hours."

"I don't like you goin' off to another woman's house and leaving your kid here."

"I'm not going to another woman's house. I'm just going to shoot some pool." I put on my jeans and asked, "Do ya want a kiss?"


"I looked at her lying in the bed and couldn't believe I was losing her. I said, "Okay, I'll be back soon," and walked out without looking back.

I started the engine to my white 911, opened the sunroof and headed for the foothills where I was able to let off some steam racing through the backroads. There was no traffic and the night air was refreshing. Driving my car fast was like surfing. It was therapeutic to me. After racing through the foothills I went to a down town bar for a drink.

The bar was small, dimly lit, and had a pool table. Though it was reasonably slow, there was a list of people waiting to play pool. I went to the bar and ordered a triple Crown on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

"You're my kind of guy," the barmaid said, as she poured my drink. "That'll be ten fifty."

I searched through a bunch of twenties before pulling out a five and a ten, handing them to her and saying, "Here ya go. Keep the change for yourself."

She smiled and said, "Thanks guy," as I walked away.

It had been a while since I drank Whiskey and I savored the taste. A dude named Mike was up to play next.

I asked, "Who's Mike?"

"I am."

"I'll give ya five bucks to take your place."

Mike thought about it for a couple seconds before saying, "Cool dude."

I handed him a five spot, and reached into my pockets for some quarters. As I racked the balls I asked, "Are we playin' for anything?"

I played pool for a couple hours and made enough to pay for my drinks. I wasn't used to drinking whiskey and was pretty drunk when I left. I stepped outside and the wind was hauling. There was a major front rolling in and the wind was blowing over forty knots. The Sea Angel was anchored out in the anchorage. I had to get her in before something happened to her. I drove pretty fast out to the end of the wharf. The ocean was blown out pretty bad and the swell was big. I could see another boat had dragged it's anchor and was only a few feet ahead of ours. It looked like it was right on top of our anchor line.

I knew I had to get out there fast. I had already lost one boat out there and I wasn't ready to lose another. I drove over to the harbor and parked in front of the market. I ran down to Skiff Row, got into our Zodiac, and started the engine. I let it warm up for a few seconds and untied the line.

In the past I'd gone out to the anchorage several times in high winds. It had been said that only dingies take dingies out to sea when the winds are howling. It was true and I knew what I was doing was stupid but I wasn't willing to risk losing our Sea Angel. I totally freaked when I got to the opening of the harbor. Not only were the winds blowing at gale force, swells were more than fifteen feet. Normally I'd take the skiff under the wharf. Had I tried that I probably would have been smashed into it and hurt pretty bad. I thought about turning around but I wasn't willing to lose our boat Angel. I was afraid the engine would die or the skiff would capsize. I had to be insane to go out there. There were water spouts all over the place. The Sea Angel was anchored a half mile east of the wharf and I had to zig-zag all the way out there. The waves were walling out big time. I thought for sure I'd get flipped over. I wanted to duck dive so bad, but had to go over the top and down the back. Then I'd cut back and go over the top and down the face. A couple waves broke and I actually got barrelled in the skiff.

As I approached our Sea Angel I could see that the line to the bow anchor had broke. She was being held by the stern anchor and facing stern out. Had I not had a stern anchor she'd of already been on the beach with several other boats.

I tied down the skiff and climbed aboard. I tried to start the engine, but the batteries were low and the diesel wouldn't start.

The winds were coming from the northwest. There was no way I could sail into a gale force wind so I knew I'd have to sail down wind to Ventura. Pulling the stern anchor was too hard so I raised the storm jib, buoyed off the anchor line and sailed South. The weather was rough, and the trip was stressful, but it was far safer than the skiff ride I had experienced getting to the Sea Angel. I witnessed a beautiful sunrise as I pulled into Ventura harbor and was so stoked to get a slip and relax.

Then I remembered that Carolynn and I were breaking up and that she was going to have an abortion. It was eight fifteen. I tried calling her but she had left for school. I hitch-hiked to Santa Barbara and was able to move my Porsche before getting a ticket for overtime parking. The winds were still howling and the swell was even bigger. I spent the next several hours helping some other harbor rats salvage what they could from their boats that had been destroyed by the ocean on the beach.

At two thirty I went to pick up Cody and see what the deal was going to be with Carolynn. Cody was jazzed to see me, but Carolynn wouldn't give me a chance to explain anything. She walked to her car without saying a word to me so I followed her to her apartment. She wouldn't open the door and eventually called the police to make me leave.

I didn't know what to do so I drove down to Ventura to kick back on the boat. While Cody was watching cartoons I called the only two abortion clinics in Santa Barbara. She was too far along to have it at either of those and they both referred me to the place in Ventura.

The next day I kept Cody out of school and went to the clinic to check out the scene. It gave me a weary feeling and I started to realize what I had to do.

"What are we doing here?" Cody asked.

"This is the place where women have abortions and I wanna see what it's like."

"What's an abortion?"

My patients were short. "Oh come on. You know what an abortion is."

"Uh ah."

"It's when they stop a baby from being born."

"Why do they do that?"

"I don't know," I shouted. "Wait here. I'll be right back." I went inside and checked out the scene without being noticed. The whole thing was making me feel real creepy. I was going nuts. There had to be something I could do other than what I was thinking. I got back to the car and listened to Cody ask, "Now where are we going?"

"I guess we need to go to the Chandlery and buy some new anchors and stuff for the boat."

"Why are we gonna do that?"

"I wasn't in the mood to deal with his questions. I snapped at him replying, "Because we need them."

At the Chandlery I made up my mind and figured I was going to go for it. Before leaving I had spent nearly eight grand on a desalinater, new batteries, solar panels, a generator, new anchors, chain, line, and some heavy duty fishing tackle.

"Why are we buying so much stuff?"

"Son, there's a good chance we might be taking the boat to Hawaii."

"Awesome! Hawaii's got the killer waves."

I pulled him close to me and said, "Yeah it does." After setting up our new equipment we took the boat for a test ride and fueled up the tanks with diesel. The Sea Angel was in ship shape. We returned to the slip, tied off the boat and went to the grocery store. There we bought enough can goods and other supplies to be at sea for at least six month. There was no way to fit it all into the Porsche so I called a cab to help deliver the groceries to the harbor. By five o'clock the boat was organized and ready to sail. I cashed a check for ten grand and drove up to Santa Barbara to try and talk some sense into Carolynn. It figures she wasn't home. That night I called several times but she never answered. I didn't get any sleep that night and was at the abortion clinic by eight thirty. I told Cody to wait in the car while I went inside.

I fully looked like an irresponsible surf rat and used it to my advantage. My hair totally covered my blue eyes and made me feel more secure. I went up to the desk and said, "Yeah, um, my girlfriend's pregnant and we were gonna have the baby, but I'm starting to have second thought about it. I was wondering how much it would cost to terminate the pregnancy?"

"How far along is she?" The receptionist asked, as I scanned the appointment book.

I saw her name listed at ten o'clock and answered, "She's about four and a half months."

"It'll be five hundred dollars."

"Okay. Thanks." I said, walking away.

The pressure was on. My adrenalin was pumping more than it was when I was getting tubed in the skiff. I had to come up with a plan. I figured I'd be there to talk her out of it. If she wouldn't listen to reason, I'd have to get serious. I was already familiar with the building and knew if I pulled the electricity and cut the phone lines they couldn't perform the surgery nor call for help. I was nervous and afraid as I walked to the car knowing my alternate plan was totally insane. Cody climbed out the sunroof and shouted, "Dad, now whata we gonna do?"

"Grab the football. We'll play some catch."

"Okay," he said, smiling and dropping into the car. A few seconds later he was climbing out the door with the ball.

"All the way," I hollered.

The kid's got an incredible arm and threw a perfect twenty yard spiral.

"Good throw," I said, pointing my finger where I wanted him to run.

We were still throwing the football when a car pulled into the parking lot. "Move out of the way I hollered as I checked out the passengers. She wasn't in the car. A few minutes later a lady came outside. I overheard her say, "Yeah, he's out here."

She caught my attention but I didn't look. I threw Cody the ball and heard the lady say, "He's throwing a football with a kid."

We were still tossing the ball when she came up to me and asked, "Excuse me, can I ask what you're doing here?"

"I'm waiting for someone."

"Who are you waiting for?"

I could tell she was about to run us off. I replied, "I don't see that it's any of your business."

"Well, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the property."

"Okay." I said. "Cody, c'mon."

"Where are we going?"

"For a walk."

We were standing on the sidewalk in front of the clinic when several cars pulled into the parking lot. I was scoping out the people in the cars when I thought I saw her mother drive by in a T-bird. Her mother lived in L.A. and drove a Jaguar so I didn't think much of it. A few minutes later her mother was pulling out the entrance of the parking lot.

"Son of a bitch. That's her mother. She went around the block and pulled in the back entrance. They must have snuck her in the back door, I thought to myself.

"Dad, when are we going to go."

My nerves were shot. I yelled, "I don't know. She's already inside about to abort the baby."

"No way!"

"Yes way!"

"How'd she get in?"

"They snuck her in the back door."

"I didn't see her."

"Neither did I."

"How do you know she's in there?"

"Knock it off, would ya?" I yelled.

Are you gonna let 'em dust off the baby?"

I angrily hollered, "There's nothing I can do."

"Dad, you gotta do something."

"Cody, if I try to stop them and we get caught, I'll go to jail and you'll be put in some kind of a home."

"What kind of a home?"

I was starting to lose it. I shouted, "I don't fricken' know."

"Dad, she doesn't know what she's doing. You can't let them kill the baby."

"Why not?"

"Because it's wrong."

"Cody this is psycho. If we get caught..."

"We won't get caught."

I sighed and said, " Alright c'mon."

"Yes," the kid shouted doing a "Right On" sign with his fist.

We walked to the back of the building and took another look at the power meter and phone lines.

"Wait here while I get the car," I said, walking away. A few minutes later I was backing the Porcshe under the phone lines. I got out with some wire cutters in my hand and said, "You're sure you wanna do this?"

"Yes Dad. If you don't hurry, they're gonna dust the baby."

The kid had a point. They could be trying to rush her through. She'd been in there nearly fifteen minutes. I cut the clip off the power meter and had it ready to pull. Then I jumped on top of the roof of the car and said, "It's going to be very important that you do every thing I say, is that understood?"

"Yes Dad, hurry up," he said, impatiently.

"I mean it. This ain't no game. We'll go to jail if we get caught."

"Dad just cut the wires."

There I was being bossed around by an eight year old. I reached up and cut both the phone lines. Then I flew off the car and pulled the power meter. I didn't know what was going on inside but I knew they didn't have electricity nor a phone. I threw the meter over the fence and the wire cutters into the car before saying, "Alright, now act like you don't know what's going on."

I was nervous as crap as the kid and I smoothly walked in the front door. Even though there was no light most of the people in the waiting room sat there calmly. I could hear the women in the back losing their cool. The receptionist was on the phone trying to get a line to work. One of the doctors came walking out of the door that divided the waiting room from the rest of the clinic. I caught the door before it closed. The kid and I were able to slip through it without drawing any attention. The door had a double cylinder dead bolt with the keys in the lock. I closed the door behind us, locked it, and put the keys into my pocket, noticing they had a can of mace attached to them.

"Excuse me," the receptionist said. "You're not aloud to be back here."

"I'm just checking on my girlfriend."

"I'm sorry but you'll have to wait out front."

"Follow me," I said, walking down the hall. The receptionist firmly grabbed my left arm and said, "I told you to wait out front."

I jerked my arm from her grasp and pushed her into a chair. I then leaned my face into hers and loudly whispered, "Lady, the smartest thing for you to do is to sit here and keep your mouth shut." She was flabbergasted. I pointed my finger at her and shouted, "Stay outta my way. Ya got that?"

She knew how serious I was and broke into tears. I didn't see her as a threat and continued our journey down the hall.

Straight ahead were three doctors that were coming at us. One was a big, fat, diesel dyke, another a pencil neck, dweeby dude, and the third a slender little feminist type blonde. Cody and I slipped into an operating room. To my surprise Carolynn was lying there asleep.

A second later the three doctors stormed into the room. The diesel hollered, "What the hell do you think you're doin'?"

"I'm taking my girlfriend out of here."

"The hell you are," she said, walking towards me with the other two right behind her.

My right hand was in my pocket with my finger on the button to the mace. As she tried grabbing me, I whipped out the mace and shot her and the pencil neck in the face. The blonde took off running as the other two bent over crying. Never before had I struck a woman but the diesel Doctor out weighed me by a hundred pounds and might have kicked my butt. While she was bent over I grabbed her hair with both hands and kneed her in the eye. There was enough power in it to knock the two hundred and something pound woman onto her butt and out cold. She fell to her back as the pencil neck Doctor begged for mercy.

I was fired up. The pencil neck was totally afraid. I yelled, "Sit your ass in the chair and don't move."

"Okay, okay," he said, sitting in the chair.

As I tried lifting Carolynn from the table Cody yelled, " Dad look out."

Without looking I instinctively bent over the operating table. Thank God for the kid! It turns out the slender little feminist blonde was some kind of kick boxing expert. Had I not ducked in the nick of time, she'd of nailed me in the back of the head with a flying round house kick. We squared off with my dukes out front. She came in on me with all kinds of kicks. I was stoked to be able to block them all and wound up grabbing her ankle. She freaked as I lifted her leg above my head and watched her drop to her back. I continued to hold her leg tightly, turned and did an atomic butt drop onto her stomach. She grunted as the wind got knocked out of her.

"Cody! Throw me that roll of bandages." I yelled, as I held her legs in a figure four.

"This one Dad?"