I Need to Learn How to Surf

July 21, 2009

The surfers clustered at the end of the ocean near Posto 7, where the beach curves into a huge rock jutting out into the sea.  They bobbed up and down like a net, washing up and over as the waves slid beneath their boards, waiting, facing east.  If you go for long enough in this ocean, he said to me, you get to Africa eventually.  The scope of the beach made the ocean seem manageable, but it goes all the way to Africa, a million worlds away.  But back to the net of surfers—I watched them from the stonewall that stitches the beach in with the city.  They all faced east, until they picked that one wave that looked right for them and turned back toward the land, paddling until they popped up, until the swell was enough to make them stand, and then the movements became slices along the smooth barrel of the water, edging and cutting across the flow until they settled gracefully into the foam, the power of the water exhausted, spent.

Through this the light was opalescent, glowing a sunset-ish pink through the clouds.

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