The wind had shifted from due south to directly off shore. There are times in life when you find yourself in the right place at the right time. This was last night. We said goodbye to Dave The Floor Guy, who kicked us out of our own home to let the final coat of poly adhere to our 131 year old floors, and loaded a pile of surfboards on top of the Mercedes. It was my last night in Rhode Island.
Narragansett Town Beach can be a shifty break. The notorious rip pulls sandbars from one side of the strand to the other. The beach faces southeast and picks up swell from multiple directions. It’s well known as a close-out beast, breaking fiberglass boards like toothpicks in even ridiculously small conditions. This was not the case last night.
I lost an undisclosed amount of time paddling into head high ramps of blue glass. It’s an addiction stronger than any I’ve known. Swimming a hand-shaped plank into a lifting wall of water over a moving liquid mirror is one of my Nirvanas. Compulsion becomes natural. It would be disrespectful not to revel in the ocean’s gift and I spent Thursday night lapping my surfboard back into the sea.
I’m now making an entirely different lap. Closing the circle of going nowhere, I boarded Amtrak train number 64, Newport News, headed to Virginia from South Station. We’re rolling 11 sold out cars behind a GG1 Electric Locomotive pointed south. I’m fortunate to have a seat.
All flights out of Boston were eventually cancelled. Alternative transit hubs were packed. I was lucky to escape when I did. After spending two hours driving a 737 around Boston Logan Airport, I jumped at the second chance to exit stage left. Leaving the herd behind to wallow in taxi-way stop and go purgatory, I fled the wretched hive and hopped the Blue Line T to Kenmore Square – Fenway. The Sox were playing the Yankees and I had 3 hours to kill.
I’m not sure what my new boss who I’ve never met will say when I eventually have to explain the fact that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I don’t yet have a ticket home, I don’t have a plan beyond a beer at South Station, and at some point I need to remove myself from this shit show of a month gone amazingly wrong. As for now, gliding south on a rail out of Boston feels a lot like paddling back out. My only hope is that the next wave is a good one.