The Cocoon: "Childlike"

It felt like vacation to me.


The blue sky, thundering surf, and seabirds overhead could’ve been taken right out of a postcard. The only odd thing out was me in an ill-fitting wetsuit holding a rented foam surfboard.


I followed my surf instructor out into the water and further desecrated that picture-perfect snapshot of the beach by actually attempting to ride some waves, but it was fun and addicting nonetheless.


I had just moved to LA and though I’d never surfed, nor even contemplated picking it up as a hobby before, it seemed like the right thing to do.


I’d spent the decade prior to moving to LA living and working in New York. I didn’t just like it. I loved it. My wardrobe was befitting a late-20’s professional in the city — always buttoned-up shirts, cheaply-made but expensively-branded blazer, and leather shoes. I got a briefcase to carry my laptop to work — not because it was the most ergonomic choice, but because it reminded me of the briefcase my father used. Living in New York city felt old and adult — it felt like the natural next step. This is what a mature person should do.


I commuted and worked in the penthouse of a building on Madison Avenue — loved it. I went out with coworkers and drank pretty much every night — loved it. I DJ’d and dated around and brunched and bitched about inane things — and I loved it all.


I even had a job that allowed me to travel now and then. When I was a child, my father went on numerous business trips, so in my mind, that became the penultimate adult thing: a business trip. To do business things!


It was on one of these business trips, working on a shoot out in LA, when things changed.


It was a relatively unimportant moment — we were waiting at a Starbucks near LAX. While lounging there in those uncomfortable metal cafe chairs, a cool breeze blew by.


This breeze… it was the perfect breeze.  This was the breeze that lifted Marilyn Monroe’s skirt. This was the breeze that set Richard Branson’s mega-yacht asail. This breeze had it all — the right amount of friendly gust, like a fart from Mother Teresa. It was like God whispered my name, and called me a pretty cool dude, all in one breath.


I’d never thought that much about wind before… and it blew me away (ha ha). At that moment, I knew I had to find a way to spend more time in LA because all of a sudden, New York didn’t seem to have all the answers.


So I got a car, found a tenant to take over my apartment in Brooklyn, and drove west, culminating in this clumsy surfing lesson.


Other changes have taken place since I’ve arrived here in LA. Since I started surfing, I figured I could practice on a skateboard — so I got a longboard to cruise around the neighborhood.


Because of the need to drive, I’ve started going out less and drinking less, which then lead me to get a medical marijuana card and start smoking pot — which I haven’t done since high school. If you needed any further proof for how out of touch with that culture I am: I just called it “pot.”


And since there’s such ample sunshine, I even picked up tennis again, which I’d played throughout grade school.


It took a few months of this before I realized that my life in LA more closely resembled my life at 16 than at 26.


In just a few months, all of these refinements of adult, grown-up city life had been deconstructed and replaced with oddly familiar things… things that I thought I’d grown out of. My city slicker wardrobe has evolved / devolved back into t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. Saturday nights, which were always filled with 4am drunken mishaps, are now spent largely in bed, either asleep or with a book. My sense of FOMO is now nearly non-existent, largely because I know I will most definitely be MO’ing on nearly everything.

I’ve never felt so childlike, yet mature at the same time. I’m a teenager with money and a medical marijuana license. And I’m loving it. I just can’t wait until Santa gets me a Playstation 4.

William Tran