Two hundred miles off the shore of Tampa Bay, in the Gulf of Mexico during Cirque de Sportface, Bill Walton and Ricky Williams encounter a hellacious hurricane while deep-sea fishing.
The waves crash into their Jaws-size boat, tossing the former college basketball player of the year and Heisman Trophy winner from one side of the boat to the other like pieces of candy. Rain pours down in buckets as both men get airmailed off their feet and smacked into the sides of the boat.
“This is so awesome,” shouts Walton. “All this ocean heaving us around like leaves in the wind, taking over our lives, bringing us to our knees. I tell you what, Ricky, I thought getting high while deep sea fishing with you was the greatest experience of my life. But now that we’re on the verge of capsizing, this whole day has just risen to another level. I’m feeling one with you and all of humanity.”
Walton starts imagining he’s Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, wrestling with the winds and water saying all sorts of things that don’t make sense but suggest deranged rage and euphoria. He imagines a shark coming on board like in Jaws and snatching him into the sea and biting with its razorblade teeth into his abdomen.
“Think of all the books and movies you’ve read wondering what it would be like to get eaten by a great white shark while deep-sea fishing stoned out of your mind, Ricky,” Walton roars. “We’re living that fantasy right now, here in God’s deep blue sea, overwhelmed by the ferocious forces of Mother Nature herself.”
Ricky grabs hold of the boat’s anchor to steady himself and his hands. Tidal waves keep smashing into the men, filling the boat, sinking it deeper into the water.
“I got it, Bill,” Ricky says. “I got the bone lit. Here, take a hit.”
Walton waits for the next wave to hurl him in Ricky’s direction 40 feet away and, when it does, grabs the joint and inhales.
“How could anything be more magnificent than this, Ricky?” he asks. “You and me, two of the greatest partiers to have ever been great athletes, weeding up like wild sea creates as our lives wind down.”
To be continued…
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