I used to ride a raft ...

I had only come for the waters
The surf was inconsistent
and only knee high
but 72 degree water
is a treat
not to be missed

A pleasant day
all surfcraft
being equally
in these meager conditions

Just a day in the water

I knew it was coming
all the signs were there
plain as day.

Sitting outside beyond the break
(what am I doing there?)
we two travelers
unintentionally pushed into some communal space
requiring a polite attempt at conversation

The guy looks down at me
from atop his 10' 6"
with four fins
and the after market turbo boost
it looks like he feeds it raw meat twice a day
I think it may have had a wet bar...

Here it comes,
is it too late to paddle away?

"Yep, I used to ride a raft when I was a kid!"


pranaglider said…
The mat is a great conversation starter. I have met some of the nicest people that way. It was the first surf craft for many of us and there are many happy memories in the group surf consciousness associated with the days spent at the beach, navigating the shore break, dodging jellyfish and eating strips (tortillas cut into strips and covered with hot sauce and cheese).
Paul Gross said…
"The mat is a great conversation starter."

Therein lies the problem. As card carrying introvert, I rue the many times my solitude has been shattered buy a fellow boomer with his or her blather about their childhood memories.

pranaglider said…
I feel your pain or at least your introversion... I get a lot of comments so I have this whole surf mat rap in response to the questions. I can and do talk for hours about these things. In the end I point them the web with a reminder that mats are a finely tuned handmade craft and the intex mats are crap and that's why they cost 9.99. It's funny but I never mention 23Breaths unless they bring it up. Then I say "Yeah I know Pranaglider, I surf with him all the time. He's a kook!" As for solitude, we haven't had any of that since '63.
tuskedbeast said…
Hmm. I would have self-described as being an introvert... but when really think about it, what I feel is sadness and disappointment with human behavior (specifically male)- meanness, selfishness, aggression, caginess, which triggers a reaction to just want to be left alone in the water. What I really wish for is kindness and connection. Not necessarily talking about stuff (though I'm happy to describe what makes a mat special and direct them to Paul); I get into a kind of sacred, quiet space when in the water.
tuskedbeast said…
Probably more meditative than "sacred", but that too.

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