So last night, with absolutely jack s**t to do (we hadn’t checked the event listings early enough) and bored as hell, my best friend and I decided to drive out to the ocean. He’s a professional photographer and we both love long drives with no particular destination, so a sojourn out to Malibu from WeHo at 10:00pm seemed completely reasonable.
The last time I went for a nighttime walk on the beach, a girlfriend and I had gone to the Reel Inn opposite Topanga Beach, had chowed down on very fresh fish’n’chips, and then sprinted (as fast as we could full of fish’n’chips) across PCH to the beach. We made our way down through the rocks and slumping drifts of sand to see the most amazing sight: all down the beach, for a full hundred feet or so, someone–someone with an amazing amount of patience and focus–had carefully erected little balancing rocks: one rock lying flat as a base, the other balanced perpendicularly on the top of it, standing straight up. Some were as tall as our arms were long, massive constructions; others were tiny, delicate. Some larger ones had multiple rocks balanced one on top of the other. This wasn’t the “pile of rocks on top of each other” thing you sometimes see in the desert or in Hawaii; it was like a mini Stonehenge all littered across the sand as far as we could see.
We gawped and stared for the longest time, and then found some rocks that were NOT in balanced arrangements and threw those at the ocean, because throwing rocks at the ocean made us feel better–we were in a foul mood–and then we each took a tiny pair of balanced rocks home with us, to re-erect on our mantels or tabletops.
Last night, though, there were no little standing stones. There were only three or four surfers. Surfing in the dark. They emerged from the black water as Ben and I picked our way down the shore, Ben muttering about bringing his tripod the next time, me trying not to topple over in my platforms. In the darkness, neither of us could get a picture of them; but we did get this one, above, of the Malibu pier, glowing delicately at night, reflecting on the water like a Monet. Ben swears he’ll bring his tripod next time and we’ll get some shots of the surfers.
So, if you surf, know that a good day does not have to end when it gets dark. You can just keep right on flowin’ with it, into the night.