I scan the water for his familiar body language. He is a big man who’s weight partially submerges his Malibu as he moves through the water. His paddling style is stiff… the legacy of a shoulder injury many years ago. His bald head pushes through the air like a guided missile. His stance on the board reminiscent of a mandrake root, arms, and legs wide. He shifts his weight left to right to make a turn, his rigid body unable to achieve the torque available to more agile surfers.
I ask myself why I am looking for him… I have no answer. Could it be that I am still pining for what was? Or am I just hyper-vigilant to that which caused me so much grief and pain?
It’s been over 2 years since he ended it. I think to myself of the pleasure he’s had with the woman he left me for, the pleasure he still takes riding his beloved waves. I spent all that time navigating nightmares and dark visions, moving jerkily through life managing my anguish and rage, trying to make sense of it all.
That experience did not just break my heart, it broke me bodily. Once full of passion and energy, I am lucky now if I manage to walk the block.
I see a whale breach in the distance. For a split-second, the sight gives me a new perspective and a moment of relief. In the next instant, the memory of he and I whale watching from the deck of a catamaran shatters my reverie.
At one time, this place fed my soul. I keep coming back here to stroll along the beach and watch the sunset, ever hoping to reclaim my love of the ocean, to ride the waves with carefree abandon once more.