Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Lure of a Wave

Figured out how to post comments when BLOGGER is uncooperative: right click first, then click OPEN and it works.

About this time of year hubby and I begin to think about our upcoming summer vacation. We laughed recently about a beach memory. I wrote about it a few years ago. This was published in Literal Chaos. Now, I share the imagery with you.

The Lure of a Wave

Right before tropical storms and hurricanes make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, a surge of excitement strikes surfer pros and wannabes like an electrical charge.

Just what is it that makes a man with gray chest hair, a pony tail, old bones and achy joints want to hang ten when a double red flag is flapping from every flagpole on the beach?

As a tropical storm started kicking up, the males in Gulf coastal towns took to the sea like lemmings with surfboards. Like a team of preschool soccer players with herd mentality, they darted en masse up and down the beach lugging their boards chasing elusive waves. Their swim trunks were the only splash of color against the brown roiling water. Infused with adrenaline and testosterone, hard-bodied, tattooed young bucks competed with saggy-pec geezers.

They raced through the sea foam to the murky, churning water (imagine a gulp of that crap) and fastened safety straps around their ankles. They were pumped as they paddled out. Instead of being knocked down by the big waves, the big boys were let down by the small waves which never built momentum. One by one they returned to shore as they realized they’d have to wait one more day for Tropical Storm Fay to whip the Big Kahuna into the Florida panhandle. A few die-hards stayed in the water. As the red flags flapped, I observed a few people who should have been waving the white flag, surrendering their long lost youth.

A slightly built old hippie walked past with his vintage surfboard tucked under his arm like a prize. He wore a Speedo. His bulge was strictly above his waistband. The bright red tattoo on his rear may have looked cool on his youthful gluteus maximus, but those luscious lips pursed in a pucker, had an unnatural sag, a drowning man’s last gasp.

I observed two middle-aged women sitting on beach chairs observing the scene. One motioned to a dreamy, young hunk. Like the old guy going for the gold, she too was on a quest for one last hurrah.

“Young man, come closer” one woman twanged. “Would you please do us a favor?” She shaded her eyes with her hands. “Don’t follow those old guys up and down the beach. Just stay right here and surf in front of us. Make a couple of desperate housewives happy?”

That boy ran like hell into the surf.


Southhamsdarling said...

Such a great story about those poor men trying to hold on to their youth! Really made me smile this morning, and the bit about the two ladies at the end. LOL!! I don't think the man in the speedo's could have been a very pretty sight. Ugh!!

Kim Lehnhoff said...

Great story with powerful imagery. Those women would have been disappointed in San Diego beaches - due to the cold water, the surfers all wear wetsuits.

When I lived there, I never saw a guy under 50 in a Speedo, unless I was watching Olympic swimming on TV.

Debora said...

Love your colorful descriptions. I think that one needs to show proof of age when buying a have to prove that you are UNDER 21! So I must ask the obvious, please tell us that it wasn't YOU trying to lure that young buck into surfing within your range of vision!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Haha! Love your description of the tat. My oldest daughter has a tattoo of shooting stars. I keep telling her in twenty years they'll be falling stars.

Gerry Mandel said...

Glad you recycled this, Linda. It's too good to keep hidden. In fact, there are enough colorful characters in there for a mini-series. How about a "Chicken Soup for the Tattooed Soul"?