It was on the verge of sunset and I had no intention of getting in but the waves were just so big and loud and crashing down like a wild version of the fountains at the Bellagio, that I knew I couldn’t just sit by and watch.
I was scared from the start. In the shallow end earlier, the power of the waves had pushed me forward so that I chugged water, pulled me back immediately so that I couldn’t stand, and plunged me back forward before I was able to fully regain ground. The loss of control, being submerged completely in what was a shallow section of the water, was terrifying.
But my lust for experience means I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. And so I wade in until I’m past my waist getting closer and closer to the three-meter break. The waves are seductive but I’m terrified of their fury.
Charlie beckons me deeper and when a wave gets closer, grabs my wrist playfully to make sure I don’t run away from it. But when the wave hits I can’t jump over it, avoid its push, and I am held under and flipped forward and knocked around trying to free my wrist from Charlie’s unwary grasp.
He finally lets go and I manage to get myself upright and to my feet. Still push-pulled, I somehow scramble to shore. That can’t happen again. I didn’t grow up near water. I wasn’t used to its playfully abusive waves as I innocently attempted to frolic at its shores.
But I shake it off and soon wade back in like an addict. Charlie and I jump over and through the waves and I get more comfortable. And then one catches us both off kilter. All of a sudden I’m not sure which way is up but I have a mouthful of ocean and am being plunged towards the bottom. I’m getting sandblasted from all sides and have the very clear thought that
this can’t be it yet.
My life isn’t flashing before my eyes. I just have to find the surface.
There is footing somewhere and I shoot up but the waves are still pummeling me from behind, still jerking me forward, still yanking me back. When I finally scrabble up the shore I’m spitting out sand and my arms and legs are scratched from all the rocks lining the sea bed. That’s enough.
I sit on the edge of the ocean, safe from the madness within it. Even then, in its two-inch innocence, it nonchalantly laps at my toes, but envelops my legs, dissolves the sand surrounding me, and pulls me deeper into it.
No, no, that’s enough experience for one day.