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how to know when you’re too old to go

We are not talking about any old session here, this is the day when the whole ocean is going barroooom and everyone has been waiting for it and watching the maps and synoptics and last night the rumble started, the deep muted rumble under the roar of whitewater. The thing is here.

– and you lie there at 4 am, warmly abed, and  ask yourself, ‘ do I really want do do this? ‘

Meet Sammy.

Sammy is the one lying awake and listening to the rumble. Sammy is having doubts.


Sex before the dawn session. … how it justifies.

Sam lies alert for ten minutes hoping that the little woman beside him might (1) wake-up and (2) consider a loving exchange of bodily fluids. A long and fruitful episode this morning because a man has his needs and besides if it all goes well it’s going to be too crowded down there by the time he’s they’ve finished.

It’s her fault you see, she’s insatiable.

Pity that. Maybe tomorrow.

Who’s out? … where the punishment starts.

Sam sits in his car and scans the parking lot, checking on who’s watching the surf and by default who’s already out there. The cove is all spume and thunder and the one thing he doesn’t want right now is an old mate on the way out to tapping on the window and smiling through the glass. He knows the old mate does, he knows the signs and you’ve got one flashing on your forehead. Piker.

That’s why he’s laughing as he hurries off. He’s laughing because you are a now an official loser and he’s immediately many rungs up on the status ladder – even if you decide to go out later you will be behind him, always.

Nobody can overtake on this ladder. You just appear and disappear along its length. This is where surfing gets spiritual.

Who’s not out? – and continues ..

You know those blokes who you always regarded as being way on the outside of the core group of locals; the ones who started surfing so late in life that they will only ever be ‘ competent ‘ – blokes driving Jap cars and riding Chinese boards, kiddie seats in the back, frangipani decals on the back window, Coldplay on the speakers, born in Ryde, Noosa for holidays, Bali for shopping. Those guys, and look – they’re waving at you, you’ve just become a member.

Congratulations, and it’s a Life Membership. The rest of it. Either that or move up to the northern rivers and start again. Byron needs a few more legends in the line-up.

Excuse me a minute here while we stick on the MotE soundtrack.

MotE – morning of the earth, a movie of great sanctity and emotional content, not to mention MPs’ cutbacks and thank you for all that alby. wikipedia doesn’t mention that when you were counter-hopping cameras at Farmers I was downstairs selling shirts.

How many lies?

Everybody has a good job, Sam has one of those in the city. Good pay and clean hands all day.

There are maybe 30 people on 35, Sam’s floor. Plus the same one floor down and then all the good suits to the top. CBA, Perpetual, lawyers – we’re talking about a cubefarm of course and the big farms have chicken / rooster relationships that need a special skill for guys like Sam, on days like this.

The day Sam didn’t go.

Now he has to handle the colleagues.

It is written that if one was to spray a 20 shot clip through a typical open office these days you would probably wing about 15 surfers – and of course today, this morning, they were all out there – at their local break. Rock and reef, beach and point. Now they are all here on 35 and the the social media is burning away. Facebook, Skype, email, Linkedin, forums, blogs. Coffee is the problem. Who you meet there, and did he go out? Of course he did, he always does – and from that ledge around the corner. He asks –

‘ How did you go? ‘

Now we lie. Sammy that is.


– which will have to be next because somebody has lit something and a relative is playing Ode to Perfume.

holgar czukay – on the way to the peak of normal. quality.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ben #

    Pete , I found this piece quite unsettling…for reasons I would not like to go into…or even contemplate.

    June 4, 2012
    • We go hard here ben, like those dreams you have where you’re walking down main street in just a shirt and no troos .. no need to ask how they’re hanging.

      June 4, 2012
  2. Mr Bowles, thanks. Absolutely lovely work.

    June 4, 2012
    • anytime krik – (though bowles is better than bowels)

      June 4, 2012
      • sorry mate- late of the evening and the homemade saffron vodka had been broached.


        June 5, 2012
  3. sjh #

    The window slides down in stark silence , she smiles at me across the carpark a sort of grinnygrowlingsnarling distasteful smile and drops the usale clanger ” Goin out are ya” all the time texting to her female SUP mummykidsatschoololdmansatradie surf mates words along the lines of its looking good well have such fun come on girls lets go SUPing see ya in ten then well really group fuck the line up , i hiss a lipless touthless smile back “yea im going out ” i always do though its becoming quite a choore of late now that the clueless non skilled have taken up the SUPs i think ill go out when im too old and should no betterjust to get in the way fuckem and the goat boat they rode in on ….Peace.

    June 4, 2012
  4. just the mention of MOTE has me drooling

    June 7, 2012

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