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Nightsurf 1987

Page 3

Karen Lethlean

“Alright let’s pinch this bitch…” Emma’s command.

Christy tried to focus on waves coming ashore in predictable intervals, sets of three. Tried to dull her busy brain. Much to think upon, decisions demanding enough neuron impulses to fuel a small city.

Fumbling away from Henry, treading past tents, boards, towels slung over open car doors, hearing strains and ocean’s crash, sweep of water onto sand. Going off! Even air cowered.

She lathered wax on her short board, trod through low dunes in silence, past towering rock stacks, ignoring seagulls, focused only on waves. Hard-packed sand, seaweed littered like a field of burnt sugar under ashy overcast skies.

Clouds will burn off, soon.

She gauged conditions: low tide, perfectly peeling C-shaped barrels, minimal chop. Beauty. Water burnt cold, like iced cayenne pepper, flooded up inside her wet suit, colder than usual. First time she’d worn neoprene, naively expecting dryness, James Bond style, able to peel off revealing a perfect tuxedo. When water tingled upward, filling space between slick rubber and body, she thought, Bloody thing leaks. Loser. Right now, she felt a twinge of desire to crawl back into Henry’s dependable warmth.

These waves travelled away from an area of wind creating them, as they transferred liquid energy and formed strings of swells. Tumbling like how she imagined wolves might; lead wave and rear packs, while big waves formed at the pack’s heart. Women who surfed wolves - she and Emma. 

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