As Badly as I ExpectedM. Stanley Bubien
Surfing's a mental sport, and I was psyched! From the stair-top, the waves looked perfect: small, but with tube-like form. I bounded downward, grinning.
"Hey! Dan!" a panting jogger greeted.
"No!" I mumbled, willing him to pass without casting his usual judgement.
"Dan, right?" he repeated.
I stopped, leaning surfboard against rail, offering a barely-friendly handshake. Introduced to Rick as a fellow surfer, I'd run into him on these steps a hundred times, but never yet saw him with a board himself.
"Going good?" Rick asked about my kids, even recalling their names.
My eyes lit when I talked about them---couldn't help it.
"Great!" he replied. "The wife and I are still working on it. Can't wait!" He slapped my shoulder. "Wonderful to hear someone who loves their kids so much!"
"Thanks," I replied, and tapped the deck of my board. "Gotta hit it." I stepped away.
"Some fun looking waves out there!" he stated in farewell.
I halted. Damn! I'd almost gotten away. But he had to say it, just like every other time---and I swear, not once was he right. Whenever he said, "fun waves," it sucked. Well, that was ending today!
"When was the last time you went out, Rick?" I frowned toward the water.
He rubbed his lips. "Been a while."
"Can't, um, remember." And looking at his watch, he blurted, "Say hi to the kids!" and charged upward without another word.
Hitting the water, "Jerk!" I sighed.
And my surf session went as badly as I expected.
Copyright ©1999 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.
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