09 November 2008

Suffer the Little Surfboards

After all of the gnashing of teeth and internal wailing over the events of the last month, particularly the death of my little shadow, I needed a catharsis . . . badly. On Saturday morning, I was still moping. It's hard enough to grieve for your pet alone. Watching the deep sadness of a six year old makes it even worse. I'd worked hard on Friday to make him look at it all in perspective: at least we got five great years with a dog we truly loved and who loved us. That seemed to help my little man as we decided to talk about things the dog did to crack us up. By the time Soul Brother #2 went to sleep at Soul Grandmother #2's house that night, he was having an easier time dealing with the loss. I, on the other hand, spent the night tossing and turning, trying not to cry my eyes out over a dog I didn't want or particularly like when he first came into the family. (We got him for my mom, but he ended up living with us.)

When I woke up on Saturday, I didn't know what I wanted. I'd surfed the closeouts at the home break the previous day. I did not feel the need to repeat that glorious session the following day. The beach breaks were closed out even worse. The point breaks showed promise, but not enough to warrant a paddle out onto a lake. And so, I sat, pissed off and needing a release. I still have two bikes. I still have little interest in putting those bikes on the road for long periods of time. Soul Brother #1, who had also shed a few tears over a dog who drove him to distraction, told me I needed to surf. I still sat. I saw little lines at the point break, but I wasn't budging until I saw a surfable wave. It took about an hour of periodic visits to the computer to look at the cam to get me to pack up the car. (Unlike others who rely on the advice of surf reporters, I only look at surf cams to see the water. I make any and all decisions based on what I see through the lens of the camera. I've got no interest in what someone I don't know thinks he or she is seeing. I only trust myself and my friends to know what is or isn't surfable.)

I thought the point break would be small. That meant I had to go into the garage to get my summer board—the Tyler log. As I was packing up the car, it hit me. I'd scraped the wax off that board and had put it up when summer was over. Shit! Now, anyone who reads this blog knows how compulsive I am with respect to the wax jobs on my boards. Well, yesterday I just didn't care. Fuck the wax job. Fuck the perfect bumps. I grabbed a bar of old school Sex Wax and laid down a thin layer. That was enough wax to do the trick. (See, I'm so anal that I even called Sex Wax some time ago to ask them to explain the difference between the Quick Humps and their normal wax. I think I kept that guy on the phone for 15 minutes talking about wax. That's anal!) But yesterday I just didn't care. All I wanted was to stick to the board. I no longer had a dog. I didn't give a damn about some wax. Oh, it gets worse!

As I discovered later, I also didn't give a damn about my board. It took one for the dog (as opposed to taking one for the team). Thinking it would be rather small, I left the leash in the car. As I was stretching and watching the set waves, I thought about going back to get a leash, then decided I didn't really care. And I didn't. My ding repair guy will attest to that. Really. I needed something to get hurt to take away my hurt. If it was a surfboard that was sacrificed, so be it. Of course, I wasn't going to sacrifice my beloved Black Power longboard, my afro-centric Bonzer, my rasta-themed mid-sized board. Nope, it was going to be my expensive log. At this point, that board and those rocks are on a first-name basis. They've gotten well-acquainted many times before. This session would give them a chance to reminisce. They only got together once. Once was enough. I took a left that was a nice size, found trim, and walked right up to the nose. As I perched, I thought about how effortless that was. Before I could do any more self-congratulating, I was pitched off. When I came up, I looked toward the horizon for the board. Nothing. I knew where it had to be. I didn't see it at first. But when I did, my brain went into overdrive trying to process the situation. I'm supposed to be sad. Wait! I'm supposed to be mad now. Wait! Look at how the board is slamming against the rocks with each successive wave. Wait! Does she see this? She's not reacting.

I didn't react because I didn't care. I wanted something to hurt. I wasn't going to hurt myself. (Lord knows that wouldn't be a smart move in a house that's about to lose its health insurance.) I wasn't going to hurt anyone else. That left the board. The damage was initially less than I'd expected. I've done much worse in the past. Thankfully, I cared enough not to lose the board again. And the session was cathartic. Between the transference of some of my anger onto the board and the talking I did with a new friend, who obviously still hadn't gotten over the death of the dog he'd had for 13 years, I felt a little lighter when I got out of the water. (I felt lighter, yes, but the poor board was probably taking on water and would have kicked me if it had legs.)

I'm emotionally moving on now. I don't have the luxury of grieving for long. We've got too many other things to deal with right now. We've all agreed that we will get another dog, but Monty will always be the first and the best dog our little family ever had.


At 11/9/08, 7:27 PM, Anonymous PG said...

Quick thought about wax...

An easy way to get a good, bumpy wax job in a hurry is to start with a clean deck, and cross hatch the deck at a 45 degree angle to the stringer with the edge of a piece of wax...with the lines about 2" apart. It's ok if the edge of the wax gets rounded off. And only make a single stroke with the edge bar of wax.

Your board wiill have a faint checkerboard pattern of wax streaks on the deck, oriented each way across the stringer.

Now, just wax your board normally. The cross hatch streaks of wax will catch the bar of wax as you rub it on the board, and cause an the X pattern of bumps to emerge. It will last for a long time!

You can do the X pattern with harder wax, and then wax the board with softer wax...this is even better.

At 11/9/08, 9:18 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Oh, I've got the bumps technique down. But it is difficult to achieve with the old school Sex Wax. My main concern on Saturday was that I didn't want to tire my shoulder waxing the board. I wanted to wear myself out surfing. The old school wax worked well. I kind of liked giving myself the freedom not to do the perfect bumps.

At 11/11/08, 3:29 PM, Blogger dgm said...

I might have a tip on a cute little doggie, approx. 11 weeks old, who needs a home. If you're interested, email me at ssup-at-cox-dot-net. My daughter's teacher has a pup that needed a home last weekend, and I can check on the status if you want.

But you're on your own for a new board :-)

At 11/11/08, 3:31 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

The damage to the board, believe it or not, is minor compared to its previous meeting with those rocks.

Thanks, dgm!


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