After drooling over the buoy reports all during my radio shift, I did something I’ve been needing to do for months. I bought a new wetsuit. Amazing how with two jobs I can go from broke to OK in a day. Also, I’d been building up credit at Greenhouse, so I was a bit ahead, then with my KSLG paycheck (yay!), my moment finally came.

For months I’ve been surfing in a tattered, holey, patched, worn-out, two-year-old suit. When the lining first started deteriorating, I could handle it. When the seam split in the lower back, I glued a block of neoprene over it to prevent my own back from becoming stiff in the constant cold. Wetsuits are a petroleum-based, chlorine-treated rather nasty bit of business, so I try to make them last. (Patagonia’s working on a rather spiffy, far less environmentally damaging wetsuit, but it’s still in the early stages of availability.) The last few times I went out, though, I never warmed up. What was left of the inner lining resembled Sharpei skin. Water leaked into all the seams. The suit was better than nothing, but definitely moving closer to “nothing” with each use. In 45-50 degree water, a person needs more.

So after KSLG, I rushed home, loaded the car, Nick, the dog, and drove to Greenhouse. I knew what I wanted, I knew my size, and I was in-and-out in six minutes, which left me plenty of time for an evening session at Camel Rock. What a wonderful thing, to have something that works! Much like getting a functioning car after driving something that breaks down on a regular basis, that has all kinds of small failures that make the driving experience unpleasant. So the upside of doing without is, when you get something of quality, you appreciate the sudden improvement far more than a person used to having does. I think it’s that “Suffering builds character” theory.

But on to the session. Happy and warm, I nonetheless felt pangs of guilt for being in the water instead of tending to the numerous other responsibilities I could’ve should’ve been attending to: the house, the Eye, writing something new for the Muddy’s Hot Cup spoken word. I have so much going on in my life at all times that doing anything always corresponds with failing to do something else. (Right now I am simultaneously blogging and listening to music for today’s North by Northwest feature.)

The feeling passed though. All it took was one wave, one look at a sky turning to blue velvet in the east and fracturing into pastels in the west. A happy boy and dog on the beach. As it does, everything that didn’t matter receded; everything that does emerged in sharp focus, crystal clear.