All in My Head

Reality and reveries from beachside rambling.

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The beach antics lately have been rife with style moves—bocce ballers, storytellers, volleyball hitters. The motor vehicles they arrive in range from purposely specialized to plain-wrap family cars. They usually try hard to park in the same place every time they come. If need be, they wait to move only after the spot they want opens up. The particular space against the telephone pole, which divides the dirt road and beach sand, is a valued thing until it’s empty again. 

The outside waves break and roll inside. The wind wanes, then switches, and then rises again. Surfers come and go. Over time, the people who come here eventually change, from one era to the next, noticed only by those who bridge the two.

From the shore, I notice the situation between surfers and waves. I take note of moments spent both in and out of trim, interspliced with delicado moves. Most of these movements are unwarranted by the wave and done just to be done by the surfers. They don’t know anyone is watching, and that feeds their confidence to think they acted artfully, practicing for the moment when there are eyes on them.

A day or so ago, I walked down the beach to a spot near the base of a bluff where I’d noticed a wave breaking. It wasn’t really a big-deal wave, as it was tiny. Yet, if closely observed, it behaved like one. Again and again, I watched as a small hump of ocean formed, surged, and peeled briefly to its right until eventually becoming nothing. Then another appeared and followed the same pattern. I decided to ride it. 

On the shoulder of the small crest, I imagined taking off, delicately rising to my feet, and angling. I remained still for a mere moment with my feet close together about midway up the plan shape, knees slightly bent, riding the surge toward the beach.

My fin, feeling sand, softly dragged as I slowed. The surge began drawing back out, setting me down on the wet sand. I hadn’t moved a muscle.

[Feature image by Jair Bortoleto]