I’m on the search for my surfboards, not quite as desperately as the morning of finding out they’d been pinched from my garden. I’m still mad as hell, of course. I still feel violated. But I’m not about to accost anybody carrying a board that from a distance looks like it may just be mine.
No. I’m cool and calm and spirited in the search, out to get the bad guys and my surfboards back.
The first stop is the local surf shop.
“Yeah, they could come in here to sell them, you know. We do buy and sell boards,” the shopkeeper tells me.
So I describe my boards in detail. The sizes, shapes and the number of fins. Even the lettering on the boards, the brands and the dings, the age of the wax (there’s probably a six-year coat on the longboard, rubbed thin in places by my chest, knees and feet) and the brown spots where water has leaked in, as well as the unfinished repair job and the Silver Surfer design on the bottom of the longboard. The shortboard, I tell him, has my name written along the stringer, followed by that of the shaper. “Para Charlie,” it says.
The shopkeeper nods his head and then pauses before saying, “But how can I really believe you? How can I believe that these are really your boards?”
I didn’t pause for even a second with the thought of what on earth didn’t you understand from my description? How could I make that up?
Then I thought, I guess now I should say the word, “Reward.”