Something had to be written down (typed-out, really) before the dream images all got too foggy, too distant, ceased to make even the smallest amount of sense. And then vanished as dreams do; perhaps to reappear in later dreams, perhaps as a memory of a real event that was never real. And I’m wasting clarity time even writing this.
It was a surf contest, and there weren’t, really, real waves; but someone had just slid down an artificial wave-like face (it was sort of transluscent, blue-green, though maybe this was added, since, supposedly, men dream in black and white), on a board, hit the bottom, a transition curve to the floor, all still blue-green. The surfer cranked a smooth backside turn, and, running out of wave face (there was a door visible to his left, our right), he turned the bottom turn into a flyaway kickout, the board clanking against a beam or an actual wall, the contestant stepping off, three steps and a sort of victory stance. He had nailed the dismount.
And there would be more. I felt like I was awake, that I knew it was a dream, had to be a dream; but I couldn’t leave it. Somehow I (and this has to be connected to my having served as a judge at the Surfrider Foundation’s Cleanwater surf contest in Westport last weekend) was not only a judge, I was in the finals; and I said, “Okay, but now, each surfer should have to ‘describe’ the ride.” The smiling-and-confident surfer now looked angry. Picture Andy Irons. Yeah; weird. “Oh, I know that would be a winning ride, but now…” Other things that make sense only in dream movies came into play; stolen cars, unfinished paint jobs, having to hire three guys (and grateful the fourth disappeared) to finish that previously-mentioned paint job; waves that appeared only to be obscured by highrise condominiums; roads that didn’t lead to the beach.
Partly to make sense of the ‘fever’ part of the title, I have to add that Trish has been sick for a few days, and on Friday, I had muscle aches, that sinus-y feeling, maybe a little feverish, and I really believed I would come down with the thing. I didn’t, but, maybe her fever transferred… okay, maybe I just wanted to reference some old surf movie I may or may not have actually seen.
I was having surf dreams; not like those from the night before, when I’d gone to sleep having just found a surprising (having missed the forecast midweek pulse) and a rising swell showing. Not only was there a slight increase registering on the buoys closer to shore, but up the line, out into the North Pacific, with winds pushing that swell toward… toward morning. I knew the tide would be too high early, that the swell window was tight. I woke up around three, blearily checked the computer. The possibility of surf was still there. A couple of hours more to sleep, and then…
“You say when you dream, your mind can just unravel; well, I’m fast awake and mine’s testing the seams;
No sign posts tell how far you might have traveled, No one’s standing at the boundaries of your dreams; And those dreams, they’re filled with clouds you can’t explain; It may as well rain, may as well rain, may as well rain.”
from original song, “May as Well Rain”
Okay, I got lucky; found a couple of hours worth of waves as the tide dropped and the swell only gradually died. Faded. I was hoping the swell stayed around long enough so my friend Archie, just home from nine months or so working in Thailand, and his friend Sandro, could catch some decent shoulders at a different spot on the afternoon high tide. I had heard, ten miles farther out the Strait of Juan de Fuca than ‘Archie’s Reef,’ that the place they (by now) would have surfed, was overhead (and no doubt closing-out) while I cruised on two footers as the waves died out, as waves do, less and smaller sets, then no sets. I heard from a guy on the beach, someone I swear I’d talked to before, that Hobuck was indeed closed-out by this same semi-phantom swell; and this was notable and a shame as there was a surf festival going on out there.
“Isn’t every weekend a surf festival at Hobuck?” “Sort of.” “Well, the good news is, the surf will drop off. See?” “Well; maybe on the incoming tide…” “Maybe. Gotta go (home, work, reality, those real and unfinished paint jobs). Good luck.”
“Seems like every dream of mine; explodes right in my face;
Can’t seem to find a better dream, to take each lost dream’s place;
You still dream of horses, though I’ve never seen you ride;
Still, the dream of mine, I hold most dear, is to keep you by my side.
You should sleep, perhaps to dream; I see no need to raise the shade;
The dreams at dawn, that seemed so clear, about this time, begin to fade.”
from original song, “Surf Route 101”
What I’ll (at least try to) take from yesterday’s session, to be placed among the scraps and notes and out-of-order manuscripts and image files of my memory, is the fields of diamonds, looking toward the sun, that climbed the wave faces as I tried to get more in line, in trim, to sync-up with the concentrated brilliance at the crest, everything moving, flowing… maybe there were two rides in the session where the reality and some once-and-future dream combined.
Still, someone watching from another vantage point might not notice the flow, the way I cocked a hip to pull the board into that tighter trim, unweighted to allow the board to fit just under the lip, then shifted just slightly to control the drift; and, pulling out onto a flattening shoulder, my left arm, swinging back, my right leg, rotating, precede my board shifting, swinging a hundred and eighty degrees. I cross-stepped, angling into the foam, twisting my front foot, rotating further. I then dropped to my knees to a position to paddle back out.
Or my board might just skitter across a blue-green floor. Five points for the ride, 6.5 for the description.