13 months
Jun 25:
luis & simao
Jul 5:
woeful tunes
Jul 10:
clean clean clean
Jul 20:
the low down
portugal gallery
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one of several sandy coves (this one frequented by locals) south of town
Lagos, Portugal; Jul 19, 2005

diary of a boogie board

Mar 25, 1996: My first day of life! My birth was bumpy but quick in a small factory in China. My father is a large piece of Styrofoam and my mother is a very colorful silkscreen. She was trendy in her day, though the design seems a bit dated (you know the type… dolphin, sunset, flowers – a spin-off from the late-80’s historic look of Ocean Pacific), but it works for me. I love it!

Nov 13, 1996: After months and months on boats and trucks, I arrive at a warehouse. I am stacked with countless other boards just like me, all waiting for their chance in the sun. I wonder where I’ll end up? On the white-sand beaches of Maui, or on the exotic coast of Fiji? Maybe I’ll end up riding with movie stars in Malibu or even shine on the pro-tour circuit! I can’t wait!

one of my owners, apparently carrying
all his worldly possessions (at least this
picture shows my good side)

Jun 20, 2000: I am going nowhere. I have sat in this same dusty place for years. I am grotesquely out of style. I hate this stupid dolphin design! Other boards get sent out, probably to Hollywood or Zanzibar while I sit here and rot. Damn, what I wouldn’t give for a chance with Brangelina. I know they’d just love me if only I got the chance - a chance that will never come. Depression is setting in. I can feel the darkness closing in on all sides...

Feb 03, 2001: I have been shipped to a distribution center in Portugal! Rumor has it that we were purchased as part of a large shipment at a discount rate but I don’t care. It’s not Monaco but at least it’s out of that warehouse. Now I’ll show ‘em. They’ll never hold me back again. It’s my chance to shine!

Jun 28, 2001: Yes! Finally! My new home is Artisanato Santos, a small store in the the main square overlooking the ocean in a tiny beachside town called Zambujeira do Mar. The locals are friendly and stop by the store often. An occasional tourist comes by to look around the crowded shelves. Surely someone will soon pick me and take me to the beach – I can almost taste the salt and feel the wind!

Sept 19, 2004: I’ve actually grown to like this life. I’m taken out and displayed in the sun in front of the store almost everyday. In the evenings it’s back in the store and I stay dry in storage in the winter. Things could be worse.

Jul 08, 2005: Oh my gosh - they picked me! A nice (if somewhat naïve looking) American couple picked me! But after that, I’m not quite sure what happened. The man unwrapped me with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old and we went straight to the beach. It was a dream come true – the ocean, the sun, it was heaven! He picked me up and we ran into the water together. I felt the first kiss of the surf on my edges. But then, he ran straight back to the beach, shivering and shaking. It’s the ocean; it’s supposed to be cold, you ninny! For the rest of the day I was used as a lowly pillow (and a quite uncomfortable one at that, I imagine).

my second owner (and soulmate)

Jul 10, 2005: After sitting in the hallway of their apartment for a few days, I am again taken to the beach. But this time I don’t get anywhere near the ocean; again, I am but a pillow. At one point, the woman went to the water’s edge, but she came back immediately after sticking her toe in. I see other people in the water; I don’t know what is wrong with my owners! Silly Americans.

Jul 14, 2005: Yesterday we journeyed to Lagos. A new town, a new hope, or so I thought. We went to the beach today, but there is no wind here, and thus no surf. My life is a comedy of disappointments.

Jul 17, 2005: My owners are leaving town in a few days. They have given up on me. But as a last gesture, they find a small Portuguese boy and give me to him. At last, salvation! Within two minutes, my new owner and his father have launched me into the ocean. I am free, I am happy, I have an owner that appreciates and loves me and isn’t a wimp! I am fulfilled.

© 2004-2012 susan & grace, all rights reserved

-- comments from readers --


Your story is heartbreaking and inspirational. That American owner of you did not deserve you. What a wimp!

In the end, Redemption! Lets face it, you would have probably had a more fulfilling life had you been shipped to Bali or Sri Lanka, rubbing against [edited for younger audiences] a beautiful blonde surf chik but hey... Life's a Beach!

--Ivan (Istanbul, Turkey); Jan 22, 2006