December 14, 2007

Short Story 2: Surfing

Surfing is one of those mythical activities I'd never actually be able to do. Like owning a convertible or seeing Nine Inch Nails in Prague.

I'm about to make this happen! As I stare glassy eyed at several boogie boards hanging. Which do I need? What's the difference? The owner is quacking away on the phone without a care for me.

I choose one, immediately he gets up “you don't want that one, you want THIS one.” he snaps and then back to his phone. I grab some flippers and wax and I'm out.

Twice a week I ride to the beach to learn this sport and conquer this. 45 minute bike ride there, 2 hours of flopping around in the water, 45 minutes bike ride home. While discussing my trouble I hear that I may be too big to catch waves.

How can this be? Hawaiian men are bigger than me and I know they do it, they invented it! My motivation sapped, I give up for a few weeks. I ask around about surfing and how to get starting. No one wants to tell me about the boogie board, only about real surfing. Longboarding. It took them only a few tries to pick it up. Good for fucking them.

The motivation I lost turns to spite with this latest news. I'll show them by showing myself and learning this once and for all.

We drive to the beach in the rental, I launch out, pass the snorkelers towards the waves. They're coming in high and strong today.

I'm the only one out here which is a little strange but it's too late to worry about that now. I position my body facing the shore and turn my head to wait for a good wave. A few small ones and then a big one, it lifts me up and pulls me but I didn't kick fast enough and it rolls past me and breaks a few feet infront.

Another couple small ones, then a big one on it's way. I don't have much hope but I kick as hard as I can. It lifts, it... breaks right on me! I'm looking down at the water this time. My board starts to shake and I then I understand: I'm riding the wave. I can't see anything, there's salt water in my mouth, I can hear screaming and my face feels strange.

I open my eyes and I can see. I spit out the salty taste of the pacific. The screaming was actually me shouting with excitement. The strange feeling in my face is the ear to ear grin that I haven't had in a long time.

I paddle back to shore. I've caught my first wave.

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