Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm Not Right

My body isn't right. At first I thought it was a reaction to the constant cold or an overdose of coffee. The weather has warmed a bit and I've cut down on the caffeine intake. And yet my symptoms persist. I've tried to work out more, read more and spend less time with my eyes glued to the 13-inch screen of my laptop, which serves as a workstation and TV. And yet, I continued to feel ... weird. I even considered going in for a physical.

But a few days ago, I think I succeeded in self diagnosing. I was in Williamsburg to check out this surf shop that I'd heard about. I know, a surf shop in Hipsterville just a block from the river – sounded like a joke to me as well. The shop was very much not what you'd find in a beach town. The exterior was used as a canvas, blending several different styles of art into one mish-mash of so-called decoration. The sign looked like the one on the Radio City Music Hall, long and vertical. But this one read "MOLLUSK." The shop was small, maybe 20x12, but every square-inch was maximized. A rack from wall to wall had an array of surfboards, both long and short with colors bland and vibrant. Another wall was all neoprene all the time. Wetsuits beyond a thickness I'd ever touched. A floor to ceiling rack of surf videos, another shelf of surf reading material (books, not magazines) and a table of shop t-shirts. Behind the counter sat a guy that looked like he belonged on the walkway of the Hipsters, Bedford Ave. But he knew his stuff. We talked surf for nearly 45 minutes – the shop, the East Coast scene, the water temps, the waves in the area, the personalities and so on.

I walked out and felt worse than I had before my various attempts to rectify whatever it was that was bothering me. That's when I realized the problem: I'm just extremely anxious to go surfing again.

It's been nearly two months since my feet touched salt water and I'm pretty certain that my body is going through withdrawals. Not that I'm helping myself. I've watched every surf video I brought out to NY (some, like Picaresque and New Emissions of Light and Sound, twice), I'm constantly checking Surfline, and my dad and brother are oh-so-kind and provide me regular updates of the fantastic El Nino winter they're having out West.

I don't have the rubber to protect me from the bitter winter weather. So I wait (not so patiently) and watch (Surfline, the Quik Pro in Australia, the cams). I'm going back to California in a week. Guess where one of my first stops will be? I'm thinking Church (if there is a God, he'll deliver waves) or the Newport river jetties.

And, hopefully, I'll be well again. And can get back to consuming coffee at an unhealthy click.

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