Surfing the Purple Neon Light

There was a little girl in a little beach town who wanted to surf. One day, she asked the surfers in her little beach town what she needed to be a surfer, just like them. “To be a surfer, you need to do two things,” all the surfers said.

“You need to buy an expensive surfboard, and you need to eat burritos. But the burritos must be from only the finest burrito places.”

The little girl could not afford an expensive surfboard. “Will a foam board suffice?” she asked.

“No,” said the surfers. “Foam boards are for tourists. Tourists are not surfers.”

If I can’t be a surfer, the little girl thought, maybe I can eat like one.The little girl dug through her pockets for loose change. She found some crumpled dollars and a couple quarters. “I found money for my burrito. Will this suffice?”

“No,” the surfers said. “This won’t even be enough for spicy carrots.” The surfers laughed and surfed away.

The little girl was sad. She cried and cried all by herself until the day became night.

Once the sun fell, a purple neon light appeared in the distance. The little girl walked towards the purple neon light. She became hungry from walking so far. “I’m very hungry,” she said. “But the surfers said I don’t have money to eat like a true surfer.”

“They can eat my ass,” the purple neon light said. “How much money do you have?”

“A few dollars and a couple quarters,” said the little girl.

“That’s enough for a cheesy gordita crunch and a baja blast. And you can use the quarters to play the fun water-charity-thing that sits on our front counter,” the purple neon light said.

“But if I eat the cheesy gordita crunch, I won’t be a true surfer,” the little girl said.

“A true surfer is not a board or a burrito. A true surfer does not need waves to ride. A true surfer rides life,” the purple neon light said.

“I’m very high,” the purple neon light also said. “But I get a good vibe from you, and I meant what I said thirty minutes ago about true surfers riding life.”

“You just said that like ten seconds ago,” the little girl said.

“Okay,” said the purple neon light.

The little girl walked towards the purple neon light a little while longer, until she reached the edge of the little beach town. At the edge of the little beach town, was the purple neon light. The purple neon light was beautiful. The purple neon light saw the little girl and smiled. The purple neon light wrapped her arms around the little girl. In her ear she whispered:

“I will take care of you. I will feed you and keep you strong. You will grow up to be smart and hot and fun and you will form wolf-like sexual and spiritual bonds with every person those surfers have ever loved. You will discover parts of them those surfers could never touch. You will have tons of cool plants and nice furniture, but you will also have an entire drawer filled with packets of my sauce. It will be a fun drawer that people will discover when looking for a fork, and it will add depth to you. They will look at your plants and nice furniture and think ‘Wow, she seems really put together, but she also has a drawer of sauce packets so she knows how to have fun and not take herself too seriously.’ And at that point they will fall in love with you. And you will love them.”

The wind blew. The purple neon light shivered. “I’m sorry. I’m more high than I thought, but I love you so much.”

“It’s okay,” the little girl said. The purple neon light gave the little girl a cheesy gordita crunch, two mild packets, and a baja blast. The little girl ate and drank and smiled at the purple neon light.

“Am I surfing right now?” the little girl asked the purple neon light.

The purple neon light smiled back. She patted the little girl on the head, and looked across the little beach town.

“I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.”

Keith James, quite frankly, is a bit of a bad boy. As a four-time Varsity Gay League Kickball champion, Keith has little time for the written word. But when he makes himself available, you can find his work in McSweeney’s, Points in Case, Ghost City Press, and other publications. Keith’s work has never been rejected, nor will it be. Keith’s debut novel “Greg Maxwell’s Inferno” from Humorist Books will be in stores Summer 2021. Buying this book for your friends and family would be, according to Keith, “very cash money of you.”

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