A Look Into The Life Of Eric Geiselman
Eric Geiselman doesn’t think, he just does. And that’s exactly what makes him so special.
“Lark, are you ready?”
He’s not. He’s Lark, otherwise known as Eric Geiselman, and the man hurrying him is his younger brother, Evan. “F–k, I hate that nickname,” Eric chirps as he frantically grabs everything he needs for a day trip to the other side of the island. Two throngs of people wait almost patiently in stagnant vans as Lark fumbles and fumbles and lives up to everything he’s said to be. He’s clumsy and absent-minded, but surely talented enough to get by just fine. In other words, he’s a puppy dog in human form. Eventually, he finds the last piece of his puzzle — coincidentally, a leash — and away we go.
That’s an example of the Eric Geiselman you know. Hell, that’s an example of the Eric Geiselman we knew up until this trip. But each day in Bali revealed a new layer of Lark. It revealed sides of him that we’d never heard of before, sides that we’d never seen. Lark unintentionally showed us that there’s way more to him than meets the eye. And what better way to show that to you than to share a few quick anecdotes? No ways that we could think of. So here they are, the Layers Of Lark…even if he doesn’t like the nickname.
It’s 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday and the tide is too low. The wind is too annoying. There are way too many beers and every last one of them is too cold. A productive morning session gave way to a deservedly relaxed afternoon of 12oz curls set to an unapologetic soundtrack of early 2000s hip-hop, which eventually brought us all to the upper balcony of the villa. A few different conversations are being held, but none of them carry much weight. Peaceful, isn’t it? It is until — with no warning — Lark leaps from the balcony, clears a 7-foot gap and lands almost-gracefully in the shallow end of the pool. The conversations all shatter to abrupt ends as Lark emerges from the pool with a hysterical laugh. We join him in the hysteria, only paralleling his laughter with confusion.
There are three photographers at the house, and three filmers, and ten people who have Instagrams and Snapchats, yet it went undocumented. Lark did if for the thrill. He did it because that’s just what Lark does. And so, we convince him to do it again. This time, the cameras are ready.
His lips are sunburnt to the point of resembling two small pieces of beef jerky and his neck is so tweaked that he can hardly look over his left shoulder. He’s surfed out, man, and you can read that line in a stony voice if you absolutely have to. Still, there’s a fun wave out front because Bali never sleeps. “Lark, we on it? “Chippa asks. “Ahh man, I can’t. My neck. My lips. I’m gonna save it for tomorrow.” “But it looks super fun.” “Does it? Ah, f–k it, whatever, Larky’s out there.”
I beg you pardon the third person reference. But I also beg you realize that Lark surfed longer than anyone that session. Better, too, Slim Jim lips, tweaked ass neck and all.
“It’s so much better at Keramas,” Evan nags. “Look, Yago’s out down there. We need to go surf with him.” Evan is right. It is better at Keramas. And Yago is out. And Yago is one of the world’s best surfers so why not surf with him and feel the not-so-gentle push that comes with surfing with one of the world’s best surfers? We don’t have the answer to that. What we do have is an empty, average peak to ourselves. And nobody is getting clips. So we decide to go to Keramas after one more wave.
One more wave turns into one more wave turns into are we really even going? Eventually, Evan gets sick of it and paddles down. This is when Eric finally decides on one more. On that note, he catches one more and lands far and away the best maneuver of the trip — the flip you see on page 1. And then he goes to Keramas.
“I don’t know. I just think it’s pretty lame.” Those are Lark’s thoughts on Instagram. Or more specifically, on Instagram fame. That sentiment is the oldest copout in the book for most people who don’t have a country’s worth of followers. But when Lark says it, it sounds different. This is coming from the guy who didn’t want to win Nationals because he didn’t want to give a speech. This is coming from a guy who can’t remember the password to any of his social media apps and has a cracked iPhone from, like, 5 years ago. A guy who spends his time out of the water strumming his guitar or engaging the house in conversation rather than staring at a 4-inch screen. When Lark says that he thinks Instagram fame is lame, it sounds genuine. It sounds like he doesn’t care if people look at him. Problem is, they just can’t look away.
We’re piling out of a hired van, looking almost literally like clowns — every color of the rainbow is represented somewhere within our collective wardrobe. We’ve just arrived at the Ubud monkey temple. That’s the place you go to in order to get a photo with a monkey/have a monkey steal your sunglasses/get bitten by a monkey/lose every bit of fascination you had with monkeys because they are dirty and aggressive bastards. But we’re here now, every color of us, so let’s go try and get bit? Rabies sounds fun.
Or does it? Guess there’s only one way to find out.
We enter the temple, buy a small batch of bananas to entice the monkeys with and walk into the thick of it. After the initial interactions with the little f–kheads, most of us come to the conclusion that primates are the worst. But not Lark. Lark connects. They don’t bear as much teeth to him and, in turn, he offers them some of his beer. The monkeys seem to sense something different about him. It’s either enthusiasm, calmness or the absence of a fear of rabies. There’s no way of being sure.
Because Lark doesn’t analyze things. Like, any things. Ever. When he speaks, he’s candid to the point of recklessness and his actions play in perfect harmony with his vocal chords. And that’s exactly what makes Lark Lark. It works for him. He doesn’t think, he just does. Because he doesn’t burden himself with forethought, he has such a real, unadulterated, present presence that anyone he accompanies can’t help but pick up on and enjoy. That’s what makes him so special. We love you, Lark. And so do the monkeys.