Surfer/Writer/Burrito Enthusiast
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I Surf and I'm Having an Affair

“I wish I knew how to quit you.” Photo: Shaun Bell


The Inertia

On the morning of my wedding day, I woke up before the sun. It was not because I was worried about making the wrong decision or from the nerves associated with standing in front of a group of people, but because I wanted one last rendezvous with my mistress as a single man. From here on out, our encounters were going to be considered adultery. Our last meeting should be special. And by special, I mean free of legal ramifications.

I wore my finest black suit; a tight little number that accentuates my curves. My lover swelled with joy, sending me off into married life with an unforgettable experience. She tossed me around, held me down, and had her way with me. The kinkiness was one of the many reasons I knew that I could never stop seeing her.

I got married that day, but I never stopped my ongoing affair with surfing.

Okay, so maybe not an affair in the truest sense. It’s not like I can ask if surfing wants to get a drink sometime and then invite it back to my place. There is no reasonable way I can woo a sport with my traditional methods of cooking a nice meal, making a pop-punk mix CD, and fumbling over the guitar chords to a Dashboard Confessional song. And while I suppose my wife could catch me in bed cuddling my favorite board, that scene would result in a lot more concern for my mental state than it would her breaking my possessions in a fit of rage.

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But there is still real love that I feel towards surfing. I am euphoric when surrounded by great waves or following a particularly good session. When the ocean becomes a lake, I experience an emptiness and long for the waves to return. Excitement, joy, and passion all can be felt equally in love as in surfing. And, when a wave walks in with an A-frame waist and a fat lip in my face, I get sprung.

Surfing occupies my mind for most hours of the day. I’m fairly confident I spend more time thinking about surfing than I do all of the people in my life combined. Aside from watching videos and mind surfing every board or wave the internet has to offer, I plan each session as if I am preparing an elaborate date night. If you want to make some magic happen, you can’t just roll up to Red Lobster on a Monday evening and expect great results. Research needs to be done to assure you have chosen a decent spot, arrive at the right time, under good conditions, and are wearing an appropriate outfit. Doing the extra legwork could mean the difference between scoring or getting skunked.

In order to make sure I can attend all of our planned meet-ups, I need to stealthily sneak around my wife so she doesn’t get suspicious. In the morning, I will get up much earlier than her and tiptoe out the door for dawn patrol. By the time she wakes up, I am already home and she is none the wiser. In the evenings, I “stay late at the office to finish important projects” so I can squeeze in evening sessions. But I fear my wife is on to me. I’ve been coming home with salty hair, a wrinkled shirt, and reeking of my mistress’s perfume – an intoxicating blend of saltwater and neoprene. Spreadsheets don’t typically have those effects on a person.

An affair is an escape, a way to fulfill a desire that’s missing from one’s life. If you remove the nuances from surfing, it’s really a never-ending quest to be catapulted into the jaws of nature in hopes of stylishly emerging unscathed. That feeling is impossible to replicate in every-day relationships and is one that I love and could not imagine living without. So, until my wife figures out a way to push me off a six-foot ledge and into a churning barrel, then I will continue to risk the sanctity of marriage for trysts with the ocean.

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