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Surfing into Adolescence, by the New Yorker


Stashed in: New Yorker, Tasty Waves!

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Surfing is not a choice.

The other world was land: everything that was not surfing. Books, girls, school, my family, friends who did not surf. “Society,” as I was learning to call it, and the exactions of Mr. Responsible. Hands folded under my chin, I drifted. A bruise-colored cloud hung over Koko Head. A transistor radio twanged on a seawall where a Hawaiian family picnicked on the sand. The sun-warmed shallow water had a strange boiled-vegetable taste. The moment was immense, still, glittering, mundane. I tried to fix each of its parts in memory. I did not consider, even in passing, that I had a choice when it came to surfing. My enchantment would take me where it chose.

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