Yesterday at the Starbucks in Encinitas I ordered a triple espresso. The lady barista exclaimed "oh how does that taste? Isn't it just too bitter?" This made me snort.
I did not grow up surfing. I grew up wanting to surf. There is a big difference. It manifests itself now in my late thirties as a deep embarrassing ambivalence to all the watery rigors that actually go into surfing. It always seems to me that those who went through puberty while surfing sloughed off all the fears of moving water that naturally occurs to those who pick it up later. This may not be true. They may have that same gnawing shame that I have, but like the social shell one learns in public school versus the tender skin of the home-schooled, perhaps they've learned to hide their fears better than people like me. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be someone who picked up surfing even later, in their later twenties or even thirties or forties! What fear they must have to overcome! It boggles my mind. I am thankful for these people.
This is the first Thanksgiving without Papa Grande. He passed in late January and with every passing day, as legends have a tendency to do, his stature grows in my mind. I am thankful for him still.
I have not spoken to my brothers in months. A little less time without speaking to my father. I am speaking to my Mother for the first time in what seems like months just this weekend. Dear family of mine, with whom I speak so rarely and share so much avoidance, I am thankful for you.
Dana has very bad hearing. He mumbles all the way to Cardiff Reef in the morning. He doesn't want to get up too early either. But I force him. Carmel forces me to watch a little bit of Hell Or High Water after we get back from our morning surf. The part with the twitchy Hawaiian talking about the South Side. Oh man am I thankful for them.
I forced my son to abandon his Legos this morning and watch the waves for ten minutes. Wifey just chastised me for being on the computer. Oh, they are of some magical, beautiful race of aliens, those two.
Everything difficult on the East Coast seems far away if for just a few days here. All the stress of all that crap that is going on there that is my life and that I've chosen and haven't chosen to be my life and all those things that rush in unwanted and the other things I seek out but didn't realize I don't want, and all those things I know I don't want but I know I have no choice, and still all those things that simply are and are difficult and that make me sleep fitfully. To you my friends, to all you people who have a right to expect more and have no right to expect anything at all, my mind is with you, and I can't help it and I hate it and am grateful for it somehow even if I don't know how.
Happy Thanksgiving from North County.