Bob Marley had it right. I think he meant stand up for your ‘right’ meaning a right wave. Yesterday was somewhat of a breakthrough. Conditions at the Jetty were very good and Doug took me out to some deeper water to find a real wave. He added some more pointers which really got me going, how to turn and be ready for the wave, to be more forward on the board before the wave took me, not to try and get up too quickly. It all gelled when I finally got a real wave and got up for a decent ride on two different occasions.
The wetsuit Todd left me is 7mm, unbelievably warm but incredibly inflexible and creating a kind of ‘instant anxiety attack’ by constricting my chest so I am hyper-ventilating from the time I enter the water. Now I remember him telling me that it did that to him, which is why he gave it to me, since I am a bit smaller. So most of the time I’m in the water I’m barely breathing. This has to end today.
And I guess Bob M. was on it too with the whole “don’t give up the fight” thing. It’s been a tough few weeks since the NYC Memorial on April 10th. The reality of Todd’s absence gets more glaring every day. He’s just not coming back, he didn’t go to Thailand indefinitely. All we have are the stories, the phone calls, and a few pictures and movies.
I’ve begun attending a survivor’s group in SF and it brings home all the early grief, reliving others’ experiences that are so similar to my own. These people I’m with have gone through the same levels of hell, of questioning, of guilt, confusion and just plain missing the person. The connections between us are uncanny — the human experience is shared by all humans. We are all the same person: you, me, Jon Stewart, Osama, Obama, Oprah and Harpo, also Emma Stone.