#22: Dawn patrolled for the first time in weeks. Months? Too long. Hard as it is to escape the warm comfort of bed, finding myself at water’s edge as the sky lightens always proves worth it. This day in particular. Yes, I grumbled at the feel of cold, damp neoprene against my skin. Yes, the water proved again so cold I had to wear gloves to ward off near-arthritic ache in my fingers. I tugged them on as Nick trotted out, first guy in the water. He took my longboard and before I’d even walked away from the truck had made the outside, caught a head-high left that peeled all the way to the beach, then two more before I’d reached the line-up – the “line-up” being the two of us. Bobby came out, another couple guys later on, Nick swapped the longboard for his short. The swells cornered, peaked up, served left after left. The take-off zone was tiny, but the payoff was big. You just had to have it dialed in. I had it dialed in. Every wave was beautiful. If the sun hadn’t come out, my big dopey grin would sufficed to light up the beach.
#23: Wrong wind, wrong tide, sloppy swell, but I didn’t feel like driving around and had a hunch the sandbar would transcend the lousy conditions. I was alone in my hunch – and within a half hour after paddling out, even the fishermen and ATV riders had disappeared, despite the Sunday sunshine. I’d hoped for exercise and got it. The currents alternated between dragging me halfway to China and pulling me into the impact zone. The swell rolled in mushy when I was outside and stood up when I was caught inside. My brain babbled mercilessly, unable to pull away from the constant multitasking I’d been doing all weekend, week, month, year, life. Unacceptable – live in the goddamn moment, brain! To help focus, and because no one was around to laugh, I started singing. Out loud.
Yes, I paddled around on my surfboard belting out one of my favorite Absynth Quintet songs. “Two bare feet/church is just a mile/but angels don’t drink/and the devil don’t smile.” I think that’s how it goes. That’s how it went for me, anyway. And it worked. I finally managed to be in exactly the right place at the right time. Multiple times. High ratio of effort to reward, but the reward was in those overhead set waves, fugly as hell rolling in and yet somehow cleaning up enough to offer an expanse of face rolling nearly to shore. I drove away, happy.
Too happy, apparently – the BLM ranger pulled me over for speeding in a 15 mph zone, which seems pretty damn impossible, as I had to stop to take the truck out of 4WD and then stop again when I reached the pavement – I doubt I exceeded 15 mph in that short distance, on terrain so bumpy I usually don’t go over 10mph because I’m bouncing into the truck ceiling if I do. No sense in arguing with The Man, however. I signed where he told me. More paperwork for the pile. Still glad I went out.