The young lad, back home in Bali for university break, rose early to check the surf. Using the old man’s computer in the study, he got on line and clicked to the Surfline report. The old man too had gotten up in the pre-dawn darkness, and sipped coffee as he looked out the window at the trees.
“The trades are up,” the young lad said, intently studying the monitor.
“It looks pretty calm to me,” the old man said. “Leaves are still.”
“Says here it’s been blowing all night, never less than 15 knots, picking up to 23 later.”
“Feel how cool it is? Air’s flowing down from the mountains. Means a light offshore breeze.”
“The ocean’s gonna be a mess from all the wind last night. And the surf isn’t going to pick up until this afternoon, anyways.”
“Sometimes these south swells hit early on this side.”
“Those Surfline guys know what they’re doing.” The young lad sighed. “I wished they had a webcam for our break.”
The old man turned. “When I was your age—”
“I know, I know. Back in the good old days. Morning of the earth. You had to look for somebody to go surfing with.”
“If you didn’t live right on the beach, you had no idea what the waves were doing. So to check you actually went down and had a look. That’s how we used to do it. You want to come? Only ten minutes down the road.”
The young lad studied the surf report again and then shook his head. “Nah. Not worth it. I’ll go back to bed and get some more sleep.”
The old man put his board in the car and drove to the beach, the eastern sky silvering with dawn, early morning shoppers already pedaling home from the local market. The post office flag fluttered gently, pointing to the sea. An offshore breeze. The old man eyed the flag, thinking the chances were pretty good he’d get the break all alone, nobody out.
Just like the good old days.