This past Saturday Boyfriend and I went surfing.
I'll clarify this. Boyfriend has been surfing for 30 years. In the 1970's he was a tow-headed surf punk – I've seen the pictures. He's surfed up and down the California coast, and in Hawaii. He judges the value of foreign places by the quality of their waves. Many times I've had to gently correct him that London has no shoreline.
Anyway, he's a surfer. That's established. I am NOT a surfer – yet what do I do? Inevitably, Boyfriend and I will walk into the sea, walking and walking, as if we were to disappear, I wearing the same expression of wariness and fear as the couple did who entered the empty waters of Amity Bay in 'Jaws'. We rush beyond the aptly named 'impact zone', where the waves crack the glassy shore waters into a million ripples, and paddle far beyond, until the swells become gentle, awaiting their birth into full-grown waves. I lay on the board, and when a likely swell makes itself known, Boyfriend gives me a push and I hold on as if Satan and his minions from the holiest of hells were biting at my heels.
If I stay on, there is a pleasant lifting feeling, as the crest of the wave lifts me towards the shore. If the board 'pearls' – if the tip of the board takes a dive – there's nothing I can do, and submerged I become. Here they be monsters, indeed.
I think what I'm doing is Assisted Body Surfing. What I do know for sure, is that it usually scares me, is that wetsuits are not flattering, and that I oftten end up bruised and sore. However, I always make Boyfriend very happy when I make the effort. So that's why I do it.
So Saturday, things go pretty much as expected. I take six waves, and take a salty dip on four of them. Fine – I have, after all, been avoiding this for over a year. Then Boyfriend comes up with an idea. An idea, which upon hearing it, I found terrifying, unsettling and wholely unnecessary: what if we both went into the water – as usual – and went far, far beyond the waves, where the surface would be mild (and the water DEEP)? And what if he left me there?
Then, on reaching the shore, he'd grab the camera and click off one or two pictures of me, bobbing on the water. Alone. Unaided. Subject to the ocean's mischief.
Here is proof of how I am treated:
However. Once the session was over, Boyfriend did charge through the water to rescue me. And just as we were about to go in – we saw a sea lion, not four feet from me. It no doubt wanted a closer look, having never seen such a diminutive whale before. We could see its gleaming little body gliding through the green water. We heart it snort, horse-like, as it came to the surface: we witnessed a merging of zoology as a sea lion became a sea horse.
Now, after all this watery mayhem, came the real reason for these outings: breakfast. Close by the beach is a coffeeshop named The Pancake House. And there's nothing 'International' about it, friends. Sturdy stacks of pancakes, buckwheat or buttermilk. Omelettes are cooked in souflee pans – they come to the table puffed with eggy pride. And the coffee is strong – just the thing to wash the taste of the ocean out of your mouth.
Boyfriend always has the same thing, the Hawaiian Pancakes. Well, this time, we were feeling a bit giddy, and thought it would be a fine thing to take a photo of his brakfast:
But I wasn't satisfied with it. However, by the time I had decided to take another photo, it was too late:
And so we learned our lesson, that this is the tragedy of all breakfasts: that in the hearts and appetites of humanity, they all end too soon.