Have you ever lurched awake in a cold sweat from a dream, only to wonder — what was it exactly — that made your heart pound? And the more you try to remember, the more it slips through your grasp?
Was it a nightmare? An argument? Were you late for a very important date? Or escaping from the worst toilet in Scotland? Were you having a warm and comforting visit with someone when it suddenly went terribly awry? Or maybe approaching the best part of the dream when a subtle change or noise in the real world causes you to snap awake?
I have dreams like those, where it’s incredibly vivid while I’m in it, but then it just vanishes like diaphanous vapor… and I’m left grasping at straws about what just happened. This image reminds me of that — I can barely make out something… I’m not sure what… and the more I try to make sense of it, the more it eludes me.
Their anniversary would have been earlier in the month, but I didn’t find this image in my scan pile of film negatives until yesterday. Taken with the gear that Mel gave me for Christmas 1997. We really miss him, along with all of his puns and Dad jokes.
Yep, that’s me… in the yellow trunks, hauling up my pink and white sail, nearly getting wiped out by another windsurfer. I would drive down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina every weekend from where I lived in Richmond, Virginia, and I would slum it the entire time just to spend 10-12 hours per day out on the water. Sailing was my outlet from my troubles back then — a failing marriage, a failing job, no money, the rest of my family had moved out to the west coast, etc. — and spending time on the board in the sun and waves helped to clear my head and get me energized for the upcoming week. This is the only photo I have of myself during that period, and I treasure it for that reason.
I have to admit; this is about as bad as it gets for a venue to see the fabled America’s Cup… just protected by a crappy rented tent on an asphalt parking lot, cars being promoted by the sponsor in the background, with junk piled up in another corner behind it.
When I was a kid, I remember reading about 30-minute lines to see this revered prize — if you were able to see it at all, as it was usually kept under lock and key at the New York Yacht Club, with zero access by the public for many decades. But now? No lines. No respect. No love.
I hate this picture.