Sunday I learned that I like songs about surfing much more than the actual act. There’s something about swallowing all that seawater and relying on my spindly arms for propulsion and being so terribly cold that isn’t really conveyed in the melodies of the Beach Boys.
The members of our house got a deal on surfing lessons and so we took them. At the time Holly said “Really?” when I said I’d try too. And yes, surfing probably was never going to really be for me, but I’m here in Australia and it seemed like something I should do when I’m here. I mean, I haven’t had the chance to manhandle koalas or introduce an invasive species or anything. But surfing I could at least try. Maybe I would really like it.
It might have been better if I’d had a wetsuit that actually fit me. Supposedly they’re supposed to let a little water in but it gets stuck in there and your body warms it up and you’re all insulated. When you’re skinny and wearing a rented wetsuit that’s flopping around and isn’t close to being tight, the water just flows through and it’s like you’re just splashing around in the cold cold ocean. Which I don’t really do for enjoyment.
I ended up bailing out after being flung around by the sea enough to know that the fleeting moment of being pushed along by the sea trying to touch the moon wasn’t worth the pain and pukiness.
The instructors were good about coming to check on me sitting on the beach and shivering, to make sure I was all right. But the one guy said I would have really enjoyed myself if I’d gone back in. I know myself well enough to be able to call him on that lie, but he was just a twenty-year-old trying to talk about the stuff he loved to do, so I just told him not to worry. I did not explain how little my body and I have in common, and how little trust there is between us, and how that trust was easily shattered and wasn’t going to be repaired by heading out into the ocean again to get even colder.
So yes, I have tried surfing. I don’t live everything completely secondhand. Which was kind of the point of that endeavour.