New Year’s Day was a Friday, which, in a perfectly normal world, would give most of us the opportunity to shake it all off. This is not a perfectly normal world, however, so I must scavenge for quiet moments, and then horde them. The better part of my weekend was spent on the trunk of my car, with a cigarette. I’ve only ever done this as a teenager in the Bay Area who thought it would look cool, and then as an adult who lives in Los Angeles, where the only places to sit are the trunk of your car or next to the rat and cockroach staging a turf war for a discarded Little Caesar’s pizza box.
And so it goes that the maw of death opens wide and swallows another year, as 2021 desperately begins its futile race away from the inevitable. As the deep chill of my laminate floors slowly soaks into my bones this Monday morning, I think to myself: Maybe I’ll take up surfing, again.
It’s Adam Brody’s fault. He’s spent quite a bit of time these last few weeks either talking about surfing or actually surfing. In a recent interview, he called himself and wife Leighton Meester “beach bums,” which sounds like an ideal state of existence right now. It doesn’t help that he looks pretty goofy doing it, which is hot, I think, even underneath all the sunscreen. I used to surf in high school too, because it was a temporary escape from existence, but also because the boys who’d drive me to the ocean were goofy, and caked in sunscreen.
God probably doesn’t exist, but I do believe in all those old sailor ways, as someone born close to the ocean. It’s like the sea air settles in our lungs, and then in our DNA, and binds us to it. But I’ve never felt that call of the ocean here in L.A., maybe because the only things that pass for beaches here are lorded over by actors and celebrity chefs in Malibu. Or maybe I’ve just spent too long surrounded by concrete walls and concrete pavement and concrete trees.
Does Adam Brody feel the call of the surf and sand? When he’s out alone on the waves, I wonder if the stillness takes over him, if even for a fleeting second. The sun melts into the horizon and the ocean becomes the sky and there is only Adam Brody in the entire universe, alone on a board, amidst everything.
Alternatively, he is an actor with just a trickle of new work to pass the time with, and surfing is a fun and enjoyable hobby while the kids are at school. Things like this can usually go either way.