“The door is bleeding ’cause I slammed it too hard,” Mike Morrisey explains, pointing at the painted bloodstains running down his bedroom door. It’s creepy enough to make you uncomfortable, but creative enough to be acknowledged as aesthetic. Mike’s pad is what would be expected of a Laguna Beach, California home. Mike hails from this town rich in art and culture that has produced surfing greats such as Mike Todd, Bron Heussenstamm, Jeff Booth, Jon Rose, Hans Hagan, Brandy Faber, Frog, and Sly Dog. Pictures painted by his Laguna bros can be found throughout the house. The entire house has a “voodoo” theme: monkey skulls, old bamboo plants, weird clay figurines, and huge blood-red paintings that cover the interior glass of the bedroom windows. The only missing element is the sound of tribal drums.[IMAGE 1]
The house is located on Coast Highway, so he doesn’t have to travel far to check the surf. It’s a five-minute drive to Salt Creek or Brook Street. Mike and his girlfriend Kiana rent the bottom story of a two-story house. Mike’s landlord Jordo lives on the top floor, and if Mike isn’t having a party, then Jordo is. They complement each other so well.
Mike converted one of his closets into a bedroom, so when his friends party too hard, they have a place to crash. At one point, people were actually paying him rent to sleep in this little closet-box (it’s so small you can’t even extend your legs all the way).
Laguna is a town made up of little coves, and it takes living there a long time to figure out the exact mix of swell and tide needed for those fickle rock piles to break. The Laguna nightlife is not quite as capricious as the surf, but fortunately for Mike and his friends, his house and “guest closet” are only a short stumble away.-Pete Taras