Small morning, zero wind, glassy conditions, sun beaming bright behind me. Straddled on my board, I’m waiting for the next set. I glance to my left. An older long haired guy with a black goatee, lips pursed with a Rasputin resemblance, squinting at the horizon. I look to my right. Three teen boys lying on yellowing short boards chomping at the bit to cut the next wave coming through. The first of the set, no doubt. No patience. Looking down the line up, I don’t see anyone I know. Wiggling my feet, shifting side to side, I’m bored. There’s no one to talk to. Wonder where the guy is that likes to talk. The guy all the other guys paddle away from because he talks too much. I’ve heard that’s his strategy to getting all the good waves. He talks and talks, distracting everyone around him when all of a sudden, in mid- sentence, he turns and goes leaving everyone else scrambling.
I see something forming ahead, a bump. I’m assessing how big it is. First of the set, too big I think. Rasputin is puffing out his chest and arching his back. I can tell he has us all in his peripheral. I don’t care, I’m not trying for this one. The teens start paddling back and sideways, getting into position. Two waves, everyone around me clears out. I paddle for the third wave, the smallest, and ride it straight as it closes in. It was kinda fun and I kinda want to paddle back out. But there’s no one to talk to. So I leave my perfect morning behind.