Past the familiar green pastures, farmers tend their morning chores, lives the bay. Its water green and brown, its sky grey. It is our prize, who’s waves stand tall to off shore winds. A little bit of whiskey from an old friends flask and a borrowed wetsuit are the only real things keeping me warm in the water. All other warmth is from the excitement, that feeling when you barely make it over the last two cresting waves and are safe on the outside. Trying to hold out, with aching muscles and salty eyes for the right one to come along. “You are mine you SOB, I love you, but you are mine” the Belgian would say, grinning from under his mutton chopped beard. Around the time all feeling is lost, it arrives. That feeling that makes it worth all the while.
Under the dull glow of the streetlamps, I can see him shuffling things about this home on wheels. Faintly, I hear him, in this silent part of the morning, that time that lingers before the tradesmen rise and the songbirds sing. Apparently, only the surfers are awake. He greets me in a fluid motion, part of his loading routine, packing my board strategically somewhere between the van couches, table and micro sink. The Belgian’s eyes are bright, they seem even brighter at this time in the morning. Between the two of us is just enough room to fit Lilly, who is barely visible in her puffer jacket. She becomes a sort of living pillow between myself and the Belgian. Someone turns on Black Box Revelation, and we sputter south.
Hot chocolate, cold air and double chocolate biscuits power our little convoy. For three hours, we pump like bloodcells in an asphalt vein, crossing the ventricles and junctions of this country,our destination largely unknown. Except for the Belgian, who leans over the steering wheel, recounting previous trips, all the while deftly rolling cigarettes. We talk of dead cats in boxes, the merits of cool and social vacuums. Lilly The Pillow interjects now and again, occasionally nodding off into what she calls “social sleeping”.