Priorities

“Fuuuuck, okay let me call her really quick,” he called out as he ran back to his car to get his cell phone. His brain was vibrating so much with the excitement of empty, undulating glass that there was no room for the guilt he might feel on any other occasion over the lie he was about to lie.

“Yo Im sry abt this bt my mom is making me help her out wt stuff arnd the house today. Can we hang tonite?” he texted. “Im sry babe. My moms a bitch.”

Before he got a response from the girl he was supposed to meet in half an hour, he had his towel around his waist and was changing into his wetsuit, rubbing sunscreen across his weathered face at the same time.

“What’d she say bro?!” Billy called from end of the car, already holding his board and waiting on Brian to paddle out.

“I don’t know bro,” Brian answered, “I just shot her some text about my mom or some shit.” His voice got higher at the end of the sentence and crackled into a effeminate and stoned guffaw, like the noise a cartoon exotic bird might make.

“Oh shit!” Billy responded in the same pitch, reminiscent of how coyotes match each other’s call when they howl in conversation in the wild, a creaturely bond.

“Well hustle up bro! The tide peaks in an hour.”

“Done!” Brian called out, hopping towards the back of his truck, punching his arm through the final hole of his wetsuit, reaching for his surfboard. “Let’s go!”

The two boys practically skipped up the beach to the tip of the point where 100-yard rights were forming and peeling perfectly all the way across the sand for a perfectly groomed, long wave. It was a Tuesday at 11 am, magic hour crowdwise for two 20-somethings who live at home to find pristine oceanic conditions all to themselves.

For four hours, they surfed in silence, each taking turns catching waves, in full rotation the entire time, never finding themselves sitting still or next to one another. Spare glimpses at each other’s faces when one glided past the other revealed only a look of equal determination on the other’s face, fiercely paddling back out to catch the next batch of goodies cooking up in the horizon.

It was a feverish and aggressive session, tinged with the knowledge that the window would close. More people would paddle out, or the tide would get too low, or the wind would pick up, or something. Something was going to happen to make it so that this perfect session would have to end eventually and not a single second was to be wasted sitting back and enjoying how awesome it was. It was to be ravaged violently until they were forcefully pried for her salty embrace.

The whole session would be a blur, no single wave remembered over another, just a montage of perfect feeling cutbacks, or divinely timed noserides—endless seconds perched at the tips of the surfboards with nothing in front of them but rushing water over rainbow cobblestone bottoms, their bodies levitating and speeding down the beach like magic. When you timed it just right on the right board, it wasn’t even a matter of balance. You were a passive bystander to the water show in front of you, aquiline curves and glistening edges, fleeting beauty that could never be captured and is only afforded to those who’ve spent the time to find it.

It was too perfect to not be intelligently designed. Brian never thought about God by name, but subconsciously acknowledged that the way good waves broke and the way surfing made him feel, there had to be Something behind it. “The human soul and nature don’t just synch up perfectly like that for no reason,” he’d once stammered over a joint. “It’s like, cumming feels so good because we are supposed to fuck and reproduce. Why does surfing feel so good? There’s gotta be a reason, right? I mean, it’s coming from nature.”

In the end, it was the tide that got too low, triggered by orbit of the full moon, and brought the boys together at the tip of the point, waiting for waves that had become inconsistent, unlike the endless freight trains that had kept them frantically paddling around for hours.

“Oh man, that was all time,” Billy panted, not breaking eye contact with the horizon.

“Man, I’m so beat. I’m almost happy it’s over. My arms are shot,” Brian responded.

“Catch one more in?”

“Sounds good to me. Want to hit up Rigobertos after this?”

“Fuuuuuck yes.”

Within minutes the two dripping, rubber-bound figures were trudging up the beach in a state of exhausted zen, as if they had fought a long battle and won, but were too beat from the struggle to gloat. There was no detailed account of how they had just spent the last handful of hours of their lives, though it was an unspoken understanding between the two of them that they had just scored.

Back at his car, Brian had five missed calls and seven text messages, all from the same sender.

“Wat the fuk do you mean? Weve had this planned out for weeks!!!!!”

“Where are you rly?”

“Why wont your answer my calls????”

“WHO IS SHE?????”

He exhaled and tossed his phone into his glove box, in too much of a blessed state to be touched by earthly worries. He knew he’d come down from his high in a few hours and would be able to figure out how to deal with that.

“How many times did she call you?” Billy chuckled from his car.

“Dude too many. I can’t even deal with it right now.”

“How long have you guys been going out now?”

“Like a year or something,” Brian responded as he tore off the top half of his wetsuit and grabbed for is towel.

“That’s forever bro.”

“Yeah, I know, she’s cool and all. She just has jealousy issues or whatever. I’ll deal with it later. We still on for Rigo’s? I’m fucking starving.”

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