Obstacles that only an ex-surfer might handle, which brings me to my topic: Heros with sand between their toes...And in their hair. Catching the sunlight on strong, tanned shoulders. Defining his chest. It's a sickness. sigh. A beautiful sickness, and it goes back to my teenage years. Nope, I wasn't raised on the beaches of California or Florida. I was a mid-western girl who hated the muddy sand at the lake and burned just thinking about the sun.
That changed during the summers, though. For two weeks during the summer we would visit my great-grandmother on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As I hit my teen years collecting shells from the golden sand took a backseat to blatantly panting after the surfer boys, staring at them down the pier or holding my breath while they surfed the deep waters.
You know what's funny? Those waves are nothing like the waves in California, Hawaii or Indonesia...and yet I would've bought the Golden Gate Bridge from any of those boys had they tried to sell it to me. I can only imagine what would've happened if I'd seen them surfing Pipe. But that is another blog.
Why did I love those surfer boys? Definitely because of their bodies - those wet suits don't hide anything - but also because they seemed so apart from everyone and such a huge part of the water itself. I listened to them talk about protecting the beach, water and wildlife from pollution, encroachment and global warming before those things were buzzwords that everyone was supposed to care about. I watched them slide through the waves as if they were a solid mass. I saw them mystified that everyone else was leaving the beach when a storm raged into the area. They wore $5 flip-flops to $100 dinners and usually looked better doing it than the rich boys wearing Calvin Klein.
Those boys probably don't remember even a glimpse of me from those days, but I see each of them when I'm writing...because I can't stop writing about men who care so deeply about the environment, who are separate from the crowd, who know there is more to life than work but who know how to work when the time comes.
What I find really sad, though, is that surfers are portrayed in movies and television shows as either druggies/burn-outs (Spiccoli, anyone?) or super-macho-idiots (Warchild, Bodhi, etc. from Point Break). When, from my experience, they are simply loners. They like people, but they'd rather be doing their own thing than running with some crowd. I like that, too.
But in the meantime, what makes up your favorite hero?