The wind is up, my hands are dry. I’m cold. There’s a solitary paddle boarder on the water who looks like a spec without binoculars.
The second shot is a little closer. The paddleboarder is just left of the pump house at the far right of the parking lot. He looks like a slender stick in the water.
With the zoom as far as it goes, the paddle is visible, but where are the waves?
I plan to go out and get a few shots, but later, when I’m warm, when the tide is out. For now, I like it Write Here, Write Now.
Write Here, Write Now
My mom lay there on a shiny steel table. I was upside down, paralyzed at the ankles as a man in a bright white coat held me with one hand and examined me with one giant brown eye. Water from his eye slipped down his cheek as he breathed the lingering ether from the general anesthesia. He pulled strips of sticky stuff from my warm red body as I squirmed for a look at my mom, lifeless with a tube taped into her mouth. She didn’t move even when I cried. The man had a soothing voice for such a hard handed grip. He talked to a woman in the corner who wore a stiff white uniform and wrote fast on a hard board. A large round black and white clock ticked and tocked right over her head. The man’s attention turned to flashing red and yellow lights as a pulsating beep brought many footsteps. The man with the big eye handed me to the woman in the white uniform who wrapped me into a warm white towel. I heard my mom moan. I closed my eyes against the bright white lights.
But a year later, hanging from my mother’s hands, I laughed ear to ear as the sea rushed over my sandy feet and brought more joy than any toy. My dad was invisible, working day after day, then there all at once, helping me do circus tricks, flying from his belly with my arms out-stretched as he held my legs real tight. He looked at my mom, who gave him a wink. He just smiled.
In the blink of an eye my brother was born. He was in my mom’s lap, bathed in soft white light from the living room window on Painter Street, sucking away on a large pink breast. Cars honked outside, and there were occasional shouts from the college kids across the street. It was quiet inside, except for the shuffling of feet going by my crib, and the creaking floor boards in the corner where my mom rocked my brother to sleep. I closed my eyes and sucked my thumb loudly, wanting what I could not have.
This memory is vivid, and some say I could not possibly remember that far back, but I do and it seems so real. I think it sticks because I almost lost my mom that day; my birthday. It’s always connected with the ocean though, like a salve that smooths all wounds.
This is in response to the daily prompt: Tell us your funniest relationship disaster story.
I would hardly call her third rate. We’ve been married 29 years. We have two sons and a grand daughter on the way. We have a full life, we’re still in love. But it did not start that way. It almost didn’t start.
I was visiting friends in San Francisco, May 1983, to house warm their new home. It was a wonderful flat in the Richmond District, with bay windows, wood floors, and a garage. I was planning to meet a specific woman, Maria, whom our host thought I would enjoy. She arrived with a female friend in tow. My former house mate Rob showed up at that moment, perhaps with a drink or two under his belt.
“Tommy, Tommy” (he’s one of maybe three people on the planet who call me Tommy)”This is Donna, this is Donna. She’s the one I’ve been telling you about.”
Donna had beautiful green eyes, a big smile, and seemed pleased to meet me. I thought she was beautiful but was quickly bewildered by two women and a matchmaker friend. I excused myself to get a snack, and caught Donna’s eye on the way down the hall. She smiled. I told the hosts I wasn’t feeling well, and left.
Rob called, a few days later, and sang me happy birthday. He was sure I’d really like Donna, and gave me her phone number. I held the number for a day or two then gave her a call. We planned our first date.
Writing prompt: Third Rate Romance
The day before I got married in 1986, my brother who was also my best man, went surfing with me. It was a glorious day at Waddel Creek, a few miles north of Santa Cruz, CA. The sky was blue, the wind gently offshore. The waves were moderate and well formed. We caught lots.
It didn’t occur to me, when I took a toilet break and had the runs, that I shouldn’t have been in the water to start, and it was clearly time to get out. But there was surf and my favorite surf partner was with me, if only for one short outing. So I continued, as my throat felt more ragged, as my lungs started to warm toward a burn.
This past week, some 29 years later, I was fighting a cold. It’s been nagging since I returned home from our three week east coast swing back in October. The waves here have been huge. Way too big for me, but on Tuesday it settled down. I hit the surf, caught a couple of little waves and felt unusually fatigued. But there were still waves so I stayed out. The tide was receding, the offshore wind increasing, and when I finally decided to quit, it was difficult to paddle in. I managed to find the shore and stumbled to my car.
Today my cold is much worse. My body is begging for rest. But I have one more thing to do before I can take a break.
Written in response to the Daily Prompt: Flawed
It was the end of the week and time for a change. Not yoga. Not a walk in the forest. But steaming strong coffee and a session in the surf. Continue reading →