the pebbles roll under my toes. i like how it feels, the push and tug of the tide. i am in the shallows at a mysto reef break that somehow picked today to come alive. i shall make waves today, it decided, purely on a whim. or so it seems.
the place goes flat for so long, it eventually becomes impossible to believe it even exists. it’s like the great pumpkin, looking for the most earnest pumpkin patch, and never quite finding it.
the waves come up on the horizon, a mirage, a dream. you walk down the trail, turn the corner, and there it is. alive.
the first wave crashes over my head like a judgement, some kind of punishment for sins i no longer remember. there’s nothing dreamlike now. up close, the water froths and spits. the ocean, she gets angry sometimes.
and of course everyone’s here. the word goes out. someone texts his best friend who tells one other dude who calls his best friend who tells the guy at the coffee shop and before long, we all know. there are no secrets.
there are pros on their stickered up boards, locals on their lunchbreaks, the crazy dude who never shuts up, the girl who can’t really surf but sits on the main peak anyway. the dudes burn her, which isn’t nice. but it is predictable. when it’s like this, nobody’s feeling generous.
paddle, look left, pull back, paddle again. paddle, look left, get one. too bad it’s a close-out. back into the rhythm, i lose track of time, the dropping tide and shifting sun tell of hours passing. paddle, look left, go.
then we’re on the beach. a guy’s calling into work trying to sound like he’s not on the beach in his wetsuit, sand between his toes, salt-stuck hair. another dude is looking for sunscreen. i hand it over. i try not to drop my towel changing. life is about little victories.
the waves keep rolling through one after another, each more perfect than the last. the wind sleeps. the water is a mirror.
you never want it to end. that elusive perfection, it haunts your dreams.