Summiting the crest

He drove north on the PCH, skipping from left lane to right and back again as appropriate in order to divert his magnificent ride from the lollygaggers and Sunday motorists, the slow-footed slackjaws with their right feet firmly held in mid-air just a centimeter above the brake, and the gentlemen and ladies – often ladies, often of the Asian persuasion – who simply didn’t see the need to drive any faster than ten miles below the speed limit when there are between 50 and 100 yards of space between themselves and the next closest car.  Drivers of minivans, old people – all of them he passed, zipping back and forth between lanes – never changing with acceleration, never cutting people off, never driving with untoward aggression or malice.  Simply driving as with as much focused, progressive intent as the conditions would allow, and always, of course, while using turn signals before changing lanes.

And, with those guidelines satisfied, speed limits be damned.  Or at least, gently adjusted upwards by fifteen to twenty degrees.

He passed the lush grounds of Pepperdine – the gorgeous Jesuit college on a hilltop, the only Christian school worth knowing, situated as it was with a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean and the beaches of Malibu – and pressed onward.  He knew beauty to be waiting just before him, just on the other side of the ridge.  And it was.

He crested the hilltop doing fifty, just as he did, his lower jaw slid down.  The road turned to the right, because the ocean jutted in; before him, as he turned lay the very sea.  He looked at it, because that was all he could do; his eyes were transfixed by the brown of the sand and the white of the surf, but more than anything else, the blues and greens, cyans and emeralds, of the water that spread just ahead.

His eyes barely registered the slew of leather-clad Harley riders who passed in the far left, heading in the opposite direction.  The surfers, he saw, but neither his eye nor his brain dallied long enough to register the notion of a surf competition – of not just a couple of surfers, but organized packs, seated on their fiberglass floaters in the middle of the ocean, waiting in heats for the waves that they would ride to glory before judges, peers, and fans.  No, he would see no wicked tricks.  Instead, he simply saw the water – lush, bright, and rich.

He sped on, for he had to – he was a driver, after all, and no driver worth his salt would ever slow down in the middle of the damn lane just to get a good look at what was going on.  That was for rubberneckers and highway accident causers.  No, he didn’t slow, not him.  But he did his best to take it all in – all being the ocean, and aside from minor framing details like the fact that there was road and the fact that there were mountains surrounding and the fact that it was not raining and a Sunday, nothing else.

And then he rode on.

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