surf along on the memory of

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
But mostly he had rocked and swayed and dozed on buses, watching the passing scenes, observing the chaos of America, and surfing along on the memory of the Norwegian. His life was like that. It was a mosaic of fragments. Details and contexts would fade and be inaccurately recalled, but the feelings and the experiences would weave over time into a tapestry equally full of good times and bad.
Source: One Shot by Lee Child
Context; The character in this scene is Jack Reacher, an ex Military Police major. Jack is on his way to the shooting place. He had met an Norwegian lady and they had good time together. He had left when I heard the news about the arrest of someone who knew from the army.

Does the bolded expression mean that he is daydreaming about the Norwegian lady?

Is it correct to say: the other day, I could not help but surfing along on the memory of my time in Africa.

Thank you.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Does the bolded expression mean that he is daydreaming about the Norwegian lady?
    Yes, that's how I understand it.

    Is it correct to say: the other day, I could not help but surfing along on the memory of my time in Africa.
    'Surfing along on the memory of something' is not a common expression - I've never seen it before - but it sounds fine in the context of the story .

    In your sentence it would have to be 'surf', not 'surfing', but either way it would sound unnatural and odd.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    I am now reading Revival by Stephen King and I came across similar kind of surfing sentence structure:,

    I’ve always been a movie fan. During the 1980s I saw a lot of them, mostly on my own. I dozed off on occasion (Heathers, for instance –that one was a nodder for sure), but mostly I’d make it through no matter how stoned I was, surfing on noise and color and impossibly beautiful women in scanty clothing.

    What does surfing mean in this context? Kind of riding mentally on the noise ...?

    Thank you.
     
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