Interview with the wave

Happy wave.

Happy wave.

September has surprised exactly nobody. August falls off the calendar, and pleasant breezes replace stifling heat and humidity. Tropical rowdiness forces away summer doldrums. Raucous noreasters blow flattening offshores out of town. None of which means diddly, but taken together they lead to one inevitable result.


They’ve been coming. They are coming. They will keep coming. With my self-imposed restraining order forbidding physical contact, I just want to talk to them. I have some questions for waves. If one of you will please forward these along the next time you meet, I’d really appreciate it.

When you roll into town as swell energy, after days of travel, do you get excited about breaking? Do you realize you’re here to die? Or that your final act won’t be some crazy as fuck explosion like if you’d landed at Pipeline, or Teahupoo, or The Wedge? It’s beyond your control; you’re a slave to the ocean floor, a victim of bland sand formations. Are you okay with rising a little, crumbling feebly, and belly flopping all at once onto the sand? Is your final thought, I should have done more with my life?

Doesn't say anything about surfing.

Doesn’t say anything about surfing.

Do you enjoy company? Many of you seem to want to be left alone, and refuse to pick up passengers. Have you grown accustomed to flying solo and don’t know how to be sociable? I can’t imagine you’re selfish. Who wants to die alone? If you have the opportunity to lift up a human, literally and figuratively, wouldn’t you take it?

I’ve seen surfers get mad at you, slap you, flip you the bird and scream, Fuck you! Some people horribly misjudge either you or their own ability and try to ride you on equipment that is not up to the task, like swinging a putter off the teebox. They manage to hijack their way onto you, then stomp like maniacal hillbillies at a hoedown in a fruitless effort to generate speed. Does that hurt? Do you hate these people as much as I do?

Do you prefer surfers who ride with you rather than those who try to impose their will upon you? You appear to favor longboarders, around here at least, but that theory is disproven when a gifted shortboarder paddles out and performs a graceful ballet. Would you rather ferry a skilled surfer or an unskilled one? Do you care if you’re just another in a long line of waves for a vet? Would you rather share the wealth and be that magical first ride for a newbie?

Can a wave feel regret? This one wishes it had picked up the other passenger.

Can a wave feel regret? This one wishes it had picked up the other passenger.

If you are capable of any of these thoughts, have you noticed my absence this year? Do you expect me to be there awaiting your arrival as I have for so many of your brethren? Are you wondering where I am? Can you see me pining away on the shore? Does it upset you that I secretly hope you stay away this year, or more, that you were never born? Do you miss me half as much as I miss you? Do you give a shit about any of this?

Most importantly, will you put in a good word for me?

"It's more glorious than I ever imagined," said a wave here never.

“It’s more glorious than I ever imagined,” said a wave here never.

2 thoughts on “Interview with the wave

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