Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two (aghrivaine) wrote,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two

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Shark Bait

My next-door neighbor, who moved in and replaced Nathan the theremin-enthusiast, is a fairly dedicated surfer. In the summer, he says he spends three or four hours a day out in the surf. He's self-taught, but said he was willing to take a shot at teaching me what to do.

So, we went surfing this morning. He got up and out about half an hour earlier than me - mostly because I was up late, and exhausted ... went to see "Spider-Man 3" and it was rockin' like Dokken. Anyway, I poured some hot-black motivation down my throat, slipped into my wetsuit, and headed out. The wind was strong, and The Ladies Man was demonstrating every inch of his ten feet - trying to walk perpendicular to the wind was nearly impossible with that big ol' sail.

The surf was perfect for me - waves high enough to catch but not so high that it was a hazard to navigation. I headed out as best I could, and realized I had no idea how to paddle out beyond a certain point. At the very spot that the biggest, best waves crest-and-crash, I would get shoved back by the waves so hard I couldn't get out past them. I gave up on trying, even, and joined Chuck in the shallower parts trying to catch the whitewater. For a neophyte like me, that's just as well, anyway.

I struggled with everything. The leash got tangled in my legs. I would heave myself up onto the board, only to fall right off the other side. I'd get myself pointed in the right direction, and the wave would roll right past me. If I got on it, the board would shoot out from under me, and I'd go down. I seriously, unreservedly sucked.

But anytime I'm doing something at which I suck, I know I'm learning something new. And that's a good feeling - and however embarassing being the fattest, clusmiest, stoopidest surfer in the Pacific is, knowing that I'm going to get better is pretty damn cool. It's hard work, too - I was out of breath from paddling, fighting waves, rolling under the big ones. Good exercise, like trying to swim laps in a spin-cycle.

Time shot by. I didn't even realize it, but I was out there for three hours. I did manage to catch a few waves, too - once up on my knees, once sitting sorta side-saddle, like Lady Godiva on her horse - and finally pretty much standing up. I mean, I had one knee kind of down, but it was the best I managed so far, and I rode the wave all the way into shore. I had been saying to Chuck that I wanted to catch one good one before I called it a day. I can see why that keeps you out in the water for a long time! So I finally did catch that last one, and I was reminded of some old Silver Surfer comics - and lo and behold, yep, that's one of the Surfer's iconic poses. It was just like that, only I wasn't shooting The Power Cosmic out of my hand at a six-armed monster. (The monster just had two arms, like normal.)

I'm bleeding in six places, I feel like I went a few rounds with Oscar De La Hoya, and even after showering, I can taste the salt. But it was fantastic, and I can't wait to go back.

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