Avalon, The Life.
December the 8th, and Avalon at 5.30am is being caressed by bouldering and shifting five foot peaks with the bay being smokily lit by the light of western bushfires as a couple of early risers slip into the sea off the pool and head away to the middle of the beach.
Three out there already and the tide just turned in from low.
Behind the Surf club three cars discharge three ancient surfers who shamelessly expose their thinned and shrunken backsides to Barrenjoey Road as they de-tweed and stuff old bent bones into rotted wetsuits and as they do they lie and they lie about other days and other waves and a little later they all three shuffle off in a bothersome trio bent on getting in everyone’s way as they hang about all wistful in the middle break trawling for leftovers.
Long boarders sit out there halfway to the horizon in a shitbagging group and all hoping that when the twenty-five minute set arrives at least half of them will be distracted enough to miss the opportunity to ride en masse and all over anyone dopey enough to be caught inside.
If only the wives and daughters of this group of dissonants had the funds to engage the lawyers who could defend the calumniation that drifts over the unwanted swells as the house painters and bankers and bludgers and accountants and wealthy itinerants sit out there in the deep, at their ease, just chatting away.
Prayer does not come easy in the surf and Huey has much to answer for.
December the 8th and Avalon is gorged with nippers and clubbies and patrols and with the tide 3 parts full about eight ten year-old body-borders are festering over the suck-up at the northern end.
In their midst are three middle-aged and local short-boardriders who have yet to learn of the deep indignity and inherent danger of scratching for waves in competition with children.
One of these old fools over balances and falls and his yellow board whips back over the head of a little boy who didn’t know how close he came to paying the mature and bloody price for dropping in on a local.
December the 8th and from the top of the dune walkway and on the long way back to the car, and just on a fluke, I turned to see a longboarder pick up a set and turn into the already breaking peak and rail his board up higher into the face and then duck in and disappear into this smoking curl and if he wasn’t smiling when he popped out a little later, all easy and relaxed and on the loose, then his name isn’t Compo.