Sometimes, the ocean is lime green. Even when the sky is blue the ocean will be green. I’m sure there’s an explanation for it, one I don’t know. That’s what that day looked like. A clear blue sky over a lime green ocean. We were four and it was a Wednesday. The wind was light and offshore. Cowell’s was a vision, a newly mowed lawn.
It was Thomas’s first time on a surfboard. I adore watching athletic men try to negotiate with the ocean. It’s as if they are pleading with a God they don’t believe in because they’re all out of ideas and they need what they need. There is nothing poetic about learning how to surf.
Carrie was there too, trying to mask her competence with self deprecation; we all surf like we live. Carrie and Thomas, on their silly soft boards, paddled obediently when I yelled paddle.
The ocean was full of men, like it always is. Men wielding their boards like machetes in a jungle, all hacking and thrashing. Even at Cowell’s there are these men. One day I think I’ll learn to forgive them.
Alexandra was there too. We used to be spindly little grommets together on a beach with black sand. We knew nothing of clothing, only wetsuits and sandy Doritos. My point is, she knows about the ocean. If I said things like, surfing is in her blood, I would say that about her. She rode her waves with exuberance; we all surf like we live.
I’m at home on boards that weigh over 30 pounds. On all the rest, I’m homesick. That day at Cowell’s, I rode my 9’ 4” and joy simmered in me like soup on a stove. When I am on this board, I am unsure about nothing.
We glided across lime green walls under a crystal blue sky all afternoon. No deep truths were revealed, no lessons were learned. It was a Wednesday and the wind was offshore. We surfed until we didn’t want to anymore, and then we loaded up the car and went home.