Surf Boarding

Surf Boarding

There are red letters

held overhead:


We are waiting

at a bus stop

marked only by

fading yellow paint

on this skinny metal signpost,

where concrete lane dividers have been

placed along the edge of the beach,

a listless gesture against

encroaching sand

meaningless as a windbreak,

reinforcement should a bus decide to

make a run at the ocean,

which would require a bus

to show up at all.

We are waiting

for a bus

when we are joined by

a man, dripping wet

flushed with cold

wearing a wetsuit

and carrying a surfboard

a longboard, more properly:

ten feet or longer,

coated in bright yellow lacquer

with a black line down the middle,

taller than the no parking sign.

No longer waiting for the bus exactly

we are now waiting

to see whether

this surfer will be allowed

to bring his longboard onto the bus

whenever it arrives.

It does, eventually.

Above the operators head

the front of the bus is

headlined with bold

yellow dot matrix lettering


but written on his face

as a kind of subtitle

is the same question

we have been worrying over

since this surfer turned up

with his extremely large board.

The doors open and

the surfer is the one to ask it:

“Can I bring my board on the bus?”

The operator has a moment to

reflect on the sheer geometry

of the problem before replying

“Can you?”

Shifting the issue

from permission to execution.

Uncharitably we are hoping to see

something like a penguin awkwardly

trying to throw a strike at the bowling alley

and so we are all in disbelief as

the surfer guides this yellow longboard

with a fluidity and precision beyond

our collective expectations.

The surfer props the board

diagonally on a bench

near the back doors

while the operator,

feeling something between

sarcasm and genuine admiration,


then he puts the bus in gear

turns east, and drives

away from the ocean waves.