Saturday, January 10, 2009

Talk Thursday – Things I Missed

Have you ever noticed the people who pick the topic tend to have a great deal of difficulty writing the topic? Been there, am that. It’s one of the problems in life I’ve not missed. Like not missing the moments of horror when you discovered your dress is tucked into the back of your pantyhose, has been since your last potty break, say 15 minutes, 30 minutes, three bus stops ago. Yeah, the red faced, absolute, public mortification lives far beyond the actual moment of discovery. I hate when the thing I missed was a really, really important fine detail.

In my teen years I was a big surf freak. Big surf freak. Problem one, I lived 16 miles from Huntington Beach, 19 from Balboa. Problem two, out of four years in high school I had two, count them two whole boyfriends who were surfers. One lasted two weeks, three dates; the other lasted two summer vacations to Morro Bay. The wealth of my surfing experience is much smaller than I’d like.

Through out my childhood and early to mid teens I spent a wealth of my summer days at the beach sunning, swimming, surfing, and body surfing. Two weeks were usually spent at my grandparents house in Balboa, where I was under the strictest rules to NOT surf at the Wedge, having seen a guy killed surfing at the Wedge, it was a rule I was prone to follow.

My grandparents lived on the peninsula - bay side, or two blocks from the ocean. And there was no prohibitions placed on body surfing. For those who don’t know Balboa, it’s a spring break / summer mecca for those who couldn’t make it to the River. A beach house rented back then for about $1500 a week, a price I could never have afforded even a portion, but I was born lucky, my grandpa lived there. Bitchin’. The riptides create prefect conditions for body surfing and the deadly conditions at the Wedge. Because it wasn’t Huntington the beaches weren’t crowded, the population tasty, and the water perfect.

In the tenth grade I had this great blue and green acrylic (the material, not the paint) bikini. It was my favorite, my first bikini, out of three I had. Armed with shades, a book, and a towel in my beachbag I walked the two blocks to the beach (dude, only babies and old maids did the bay,) found my strip of sand, and scanned the minimal crowd. Wow, the dudes were hot and the female companionship as scant…as their attire.

For the first half hour I would read my book, at that time it was most likely a Ray Bradbury sci-fi. My favorite being the The Illustrated Man, but I read them all that summer and a few romances. In time I’d be chatting with others on the beach, enticed into the surf, and spend the remainder of the day body surfing. Years of skateboarding, surfing, and some gymnastics gave me a pretty good start on body surfing, that and my own personal floatation devices - the girls and teenly bubble butt, made body surfing a great pastime and sport for me.

On this particular summer day I’d met up with six or seven guys and two chicks, who’d been staying on the island for the week. If memory serves they were from Taft and staying at an old beach house on Opal. The curls had been pretty good, each one growing in the series. I’d caught two or three nice rides taking me close into the shore laughing with whom ever I’d shared the ride, then we would swim back out to the break line.

The walls had been growing bigger and bigger, each ride taking us further, you could tell a big one was coming. Three or four of us were in a horizontal line to the beach, giddy with anticipation at the big one coming at us. I leaned slightly forward and slowly began my strokes to judge the speed of the wave. The surge of the water picked me up as the trough spread out before me, deepening as the crest built behind me. The ride was incredible; the height must have been a good fifteen feet from the base, mind blowing. Right up to the moment it disappeared from underneath me. Suddenly, the wave’s force and drive drove me crashing into the wet sand and broken shells of the sea floor below. Like flotsam and jetsam I gave myself up to the power of the wave waiting the right time to resurface.

The wave had it’s way with me, I tumbled, rolled, and lurched at the whim of mother sea. And then I felt my bikini bottom shift to my knees. My ankles locked together to keep them from floating way. As my hands rushed to my knees to pull them back up my feet hit the sand and thrust my body upward and out of the water…

Into a world populated by manly teen males. The thing I’d missed in my efforts to save my bikini bottom – was that the skinny part of my bikini top, it looked like a tie front – but really it had been sewn together with a false tie tacked on, had burst at the seam and the girls were flying freely in the surf and sun of Balboa beach, which is not now, nor has ever been a topless beach.



Anonymous said...

An interesting post that got me to thinking about how I liked the "idea" of surfing when I was a little kid. I always asked my parents why we would never get waves large enough on Lake Michigan. It's interesting to note that I'm currently working on a "real life" Bradbury project related to a major renovation of our Carnegie Library.

Phoenix Touch said...

WOW! Thank you. I loved this personal share. Aaaaand... couldn't help but snicker. Love you!

Cele said...

Steve - you are still young and agile, make sure you take a vacation somewhere that will at least let you try body surfing. Start with a boogie board, and then graduate to no board. You will love it. Well except the sandy parts. Okay, I so want to hear about the Bradbury project.

Abgue - thank you for your support and the time you take to read me. I am glad to have made you laugh.