Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This Week In Not Surfing

1. Ribbons of mist cut across Ocean Parkway in the predawn crepuscule. This word, and another, gloaming, would technically, in this use, be the memory of the previous night's twilight. I haven't yet found the matching archaic descriptive for the light of dawn.

2. I pull into the mostly barren parking lot of Gilgo. Three pudgy beachcombers huddle, comparing their metal detectors. Past the Inn the older locals have parked their smattering of cars. I settle in front of the bathroom, perhaps unwittingly flagging my callowness. Sometimes I park on the other side of the guardhouse, hopping the fence to run across the parkway. I can't be bothered with that today. There are many places to surf around here. Just park in the right spot.

3. When I get out of the car there is a slightly misplaced smell of decay. At least I can't place it.

4. The sun appears to move faster when it is rising and setting, a banal observation which nevertheless surprises me every time.

5. The waves are tiny. Almost not waves at all. More like salty calf tickling water humps. I ride my pink sofftop, realizing only too late the fun would be more if I unscrewed the fins. There are six, maybe seven regulars in the water. Regulars because I recognize their faces.  I can only assume they recognize mine, but I won't. Some mornings in the lineup I am garrulous. This morning I try to paddle away from everyone to tend a private patch of lonely splash lumps, closing my eyes to listen to the placidly gallumphing water retreat from my board.

6. Three days ago in a Facebook instant message I used the word benumbment, a word I had not counted on being a proper word until I noticed there wasn't the requisite red squiggly line beneath it.

7. I do one interesting thing amidst the many uninteresting things. While attempting to improbably insinuate myself into a shabby shadow of a wave, I jump up and down two footed on the shoulders of the board. Like a hopping tantrumic child. And it works. One of those spontaneous, inane moments in surfing when a witness would be welcome.

8. I donate a few dollars to the WFMU pledge drive during the Wake & Bake show. Wifey flips the switch before I hear my name announced. Besides the iced matcha tea with macadamia nut milk I've been getting from the coffee shop down the street, Clay Pigeon is really one of the best morning things going these days. But we don't have to talk about that.

9. Things my three year old says:
"Leave me be."
"Give me space."

10. I've been sleeping on the couch lately. It's not what you think. Well, maybe it is. There are certain people who are natural magnets for mosquitoes. This is well documented but incompletely understood. Wifey is one of those. Every night in the middle of the night she gets up to kill a tormenting mosquito in our bedroom, leaving me equally tormented in a different way. So for now, until it gets colder, I am sleeping on the couch to try and get some consistent shut eye.

11. The weather people say this will be another unseasonably warm winter in New York.

12. There is a granite statue of Father Jerzy Popieluszko in a park at the corner of Nassau and Bedford in Brooklyn. He was a priest agitating for the Polish Solidarność movement who was murdered by Communist security apparatus goons in 1984. Recently the statue was vandalised, the head spray painted red. In a previous desecration the monument was somehow beheaded. The police don't have any leads. The president of the New York chapter of the John Paul II Foundation has opined, "the red color may indicate someone with leftist views, inimical to Father Popieluszko." Inimical indeed.

13. This morning at 4:30 AM my three year old wakes me up, crying about a bad dream. I do not fall back asleep.


The London Surf Film Festival was this past weekend I think. It is the second straight year I've missed it.

This fun little film was on show:


Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Photo By Noah Silvestry
I remember sitting in my bedroom the summer of '89 listening to one of the first CD's I out and out stole from my older brother. "Full Moon Fever" on repeat. A little research tells me it wasn't an especially hot summer - though there were some near 90˚ days in June apparently - but my body remembers it being a scorcher. Perhaps growing up in Seattle will make any day above eighty feel like a day on the face of Mars. It's one of those albums when played returns me viscerally to the specific texture of a time and place. Not even ten years later and I would be sizing up my potential (and future) bride on a number of merits, one box ticked being her obsession with Tom Petty's "Greatest Hits."

He always seemed to be a humble master.