SCENE ONE: JUST ONE MORE WAVE
I leaned up on my right elbow and felt it sink in the warm, African sand. My head was slow; my thoughts a lone hum. “Can’t . . .paddle . . .back . . .out,” I sighed, scanning the beach below the steep dunes patterned in long, spacious rows.
The right point we had rode for hours was now empty and without blemish — exactly as we’d found it. The sun’s knifelike beams were killing us, and our wave counts had us feeling like we had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner. In my relaxed stupor, I could feel the drool gathering between my right wrist and chin. My arm shook like an old man’s crutch. And my mouth, it was plastered wide in a drooping, hopeless smile. Looking out into the lineup, I had no choice but to mindsurf the next shallow, suck-up ledge. I pulled my left elbow under me and — just like countless times before — took off behind the head-high peak, hit the brakes and screeched along the edge of its diamond-cut corner.
It was my best ride all day.