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Riding to the Future

[whitespace] Memo for the Millennium

By Morton Marcus

Like surfers expecting the years will build to a wave and the wave to crest into the next century, we feel the long pull of time turn and catapult us toward shore on our coffin-lid boards, forcing us to walk our individual planks with the weight of history, like a pirate ship, behind us.

Is it rapture, giddiness, or fear we feel as we swerve one way and another under the stars, keeping the difficult balance needed in such uncertain footing while we're swept toward shore?

Funny, but the shoreline is never the object; the ride is. Ask any surfers worth the salt they swish through. The best of them don't look forward or back, so cannot turn into pillars of even their own communities, whether or not they remain stationary on their rushing boards.

Wouldn't you know it: the anarchy of individuality even here, although never called by its real name, loneliness. But loneliness is only for statues, solitary and unbending under fanfares of pigeons.

We're supple crouchers, taking the wave as it comes and abandoning it before it splinters against the shore like a foundering ship full of useless cargo. By then, we're paddling toward the next wave, still a hill, a ton of water that will never know it's a wave when it becomes one, nor that it is the wreckage of the wave that came before it.

It's the rhythm that we ride finally, and that enthralls.

The board points its finger, and we follow.

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From the December 29, 1999 - January 5, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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