I surf. There I said it. I'm out and proud, say what you will. It's the gift that keeps giving. I don't do it enough, though I've done it all my life, making time for it is tough. But I went the other day with my friend Pete Pettegrew great guy, great painter and surfer bud. I just said heck with it and went and it filled my well. Like painting some days are disappointing, some days I can't buy a wave, but some days are like gold. Yesterday was like that. Soft and warm and easy and fun and I did my part. It was good. Unbeknownst to me Pete took some pics and it made me feel good to see them. So I'm renewing my vow to surf more. Anyway, it got me to thinking about something I wrote a long while back, based on a persistent day dream I've always had. It's short.
Lucidity Precognitive dreams, what the heck are they? I've always thought of them as remnants of ideas and images kept in store just waiting to be matched up with some real event after the fact. Like a quilt maker patching bits of random fabric together and saying, "See? It was there all the time." They're crap, these things, they don't mean a damn thing. But for once in a while there's a dream that keeps coming back, not all the time but just enough to stay present in the shadow recesses of the back of my mind.
This one started when I was about to go off to college, it has repeated every year or so since. I'm driving along in the middle of nowhere, passing a lake on some vague rural road and off in the distance I see movement, a wave rolling towards me with about as much business being there as a giant nipple. A dark green-brown hump of water moving silently, tiny quarks of light doing the samba across its peak. Its mass blocks the far houses that dot the shore like alligator teeth and there I sit sans surfboard, mouth agape. One perfect wave from god knows where and all I can do is watch it roll by in hazy angst. This lone wave dream just doesn't let go, it just hangs out back like a dog on a chain.
Maybe 20 years back I was driving to visit my brother, taking the back roads, not because I like change but because some poor moke t-boned a dump truck on 75 and S.R.23 and the traffic was bad. Just cruising along in post work torpor and there it is, there's that distant shore grinning it's jaggedy near toothless grin. The next day I pulled out my board, threw it on the racks and headed for the lake. I'd sit in the spot that I'd seen so many times before and wait. And wait. Eventually my racks rusted and I bolted the board to the roof of my car as a sort of note-to-self on the foolishness of dreams.
But this morning, this oddly familiar morning, I'm getting ready for work and the deja vu's are coming like hail. The air, the light, the cat on the corner of the couch. The patch work quilt of my dream is falling together. So now, here I sit, jerked along by neurons and visions waiting by the lake, setting my self up for the usual disappointment. But for whatever reason my heart is pumping and my fingers are wrapped white-knuckle tight around the grungy steering wheel as I look across the event horizon. Feeling something like a countdown rhythm all around me, the wind rushes and then a whump and mother of pearl there it is, only this time I'm wide awake. The wave moves across the horizon like it always had in my dreams, making as much sense as a shiny silver hovering orb. On instinct I'm out the door and grabbing for my board. Shit. It's bolted to the roof. Three hard tugs and it falls apart like old toast as that perfect, mercurial miracle breaks in mirror symmetry from the middle of the lake out. I'm standing there dumbfounded as the last of the wave washes up and licks my toes, a chunk of rotten surfboard in my hand. I missed it. Again.
Who said dreams don't come true.