Not an Adventurist.

Thoughts of a quixotic weirdo.

Category: Writing

The Swelling Tide

Cool breeze brushes the boy’s face as he steps onto the soft sand. Voices from families fill his earnest ears, embracing the atmosphere around him. He grasps his father’s hand as he glances out towards the blue monster, crashing down on the wet shore, taking in whatever lies in its path.

It is magnificent.

The boy trudges through the sand, the breeze makes the tiny rocks hit the back of his legs as his feet kick up the terrain he marches through. The shore has never felt so alive for this small boy of 5 years. His childhood adrenaline pumping, his hair already sticky with salty air — it’s been too long. It seems like forever since his last day of sand castles and saltwater. He lets go of his father’s hand and sprints towards the crashing waves, halting just before he hits the water. His small body is surrounded by the size of a brilliant form of nature. Aware of the fear that comes with the water, his body tenses as he watches a wave crash ahead of him and waits for the settling water to lick the tips of his tiny toes.

His eyes patiently follow the rising tide to his toes and as it reaches his feet, he begins to laugh and jumps up, splashing the water in every direction. Water splits into tiny droplets as they shine in the sunlight. The boy giggles loudly as he puts his hands on his knees to look down at his feet once more. He’s timid as the sound of the loud waves reaches his ears and the sea foam chases its way up to greet him, cold water sneaking up on his toes — tiny in comparison to the sea outstretching before the boy.

The boy’s father calls to him and he squints into the sun to place where the man is standing.

Tide pools. It’s time.

The tide is low and the tiny creatures of the sea are waiting for the boy to poke them all with his chubby fingers. The boy sprints up to his father, sand sticking to his wet legs, and grasps the warm hand once again.

Sand squishes below their feet and the boy is full of excitement, running on the packet of fruit snacks his father gave him in the car. Everything is bright and new and glorious.

The tide pools are surrounded by tiny people carrying brightly colored buckets, eager to find their next treasure. A keepsake for their time at the sea. The boy lets go as his father yells out to him. He can’t go far.

Safety. Water. Rules.

He makes his way around the rocks and shells and rock shells to the nearest pool of water. He crouches down next to the water to watch the seaweed brush against the side of the natural hole. Carefully watching for a sign of movement, his eye catches a small hermit crab, quickly moving from under the seaweed to the indentation of the rock. He points excitedly at the animal and looks up to find his father. He can’t see him but that’s not something to worry about, not now.

Look at the hermit crab.

Happy shrieks catch the boy’s attention and he gazes over at the commotion. A starfish! Before following after the crowd of bucket-carrying children, the boy looks up to locate his father once again. The sun is bright and the light reflects off the sand, making it difficult to see. His father is no where to be found.

The boy begins to worry but is interrupted by the sound of his fellow adventurers. There are things to see. The boy attempts to stand up but his foot slips into the pool. He panics, thinking that he has stepped on a newfound treasure, frantically looks down and finds the situation okay. He crawls out of the pool and tries to brush off the tiny sand particles from his hands but, instead, more is collected in his palms.

A crowd has emerged around the pink starfish. The boy pardons his way through the taller kids and enthusiastically bends over to look at the creature more closely. His finger reaches out to stroke the seemingly inanimate object and as he does so, a small fish quickly swims to the other side of the tide pool. The boy smiles in that moment and then is overcome with the shouts and excitement of the people around him. He’s lost interest and begins searching for a treasure of his own — one without the crowd.

The boy jumps from rock to rock, looking into the pools of water, hoping to find something he has never seen before. He discovers sea urchins and sea cucumbers, each creature being explored with the touch of the boy’s fingers.

Time begins to pass and people begin to retreat back on to the shore. As he is so engrossed with the ocean, the boy doesn’t seem to notice the changes. He continues further out into the tide pools as the water begins to rise. He wonders where his father went, but he is sure his father is just sitting upon the shore looking out at him. Perhaps he’s eating from the bag of potato chips they brought along for the trip.

He bends down to grab a loose shell drifting back into the sea, but misses it by a second as it is taken in by the receding wave. Disappointed, he follows the shell quickly through the wet sand and finds himself knee deep in the ocean. Reaching down to grab the now stationary shell, he loses his balance and topples head first into the water just as a new wave runs into him.

In a frantic state of confusion, the boy attempts to reorient himself, struggling to find what is seemingly the ground and that which is seemingly up. Just as he pulls himself upwards and pops his head out of the swelling foam and salty water, another wave crashes on his head, pushing him back under. With puffed cheeks and burning eyes, the boy attempts to recall the three swimming lessons his father made him take that one time.

The only thing that seemed to stick in his mind was to not place his chin to chest when attempting to float. This doesn’t help. He attempts to open his eyes but can see nothing but the murky, brown California seawater.

He feels as though he has been under water for some time as the water begins to seep into his mouth and clog up his nose, the taste of the salt water bitter on his tongue. His eyes begin to sting and he feels insignificant and terrified.

He lifts up and by some miracle, his head breaks the surface again. He gasps for air, eyes blending the salt water and salty tears into one constant stream of emotion. He begins to cry and attempts to spit out the lingering taste of salt and sand with no prevail.

He dropped the shell. During his battle with the ocean, he scraped his knee on the rocky ground, but that doesn’t seem to bother him right now. He stands motionless, feet sinking into the sand, creating imprints, his father still no where to be found.
He wipes the tears from his eyes, leaving behind sand on his cheeks. His father has done this in the past. The boy grabs his knee, attempting to stop the pain. It’s not too bad. There is more to explore.

The boy makes his way back to the tide pools to find that the water has taken them over once more. The waves crash on the rocks, sending mist over everything and sprinkling the boy’s head. Another child walks up beside him, swinging a yellow bucket in her hand. They gaze out at the waves and the mist, laughing as it tickles their faces.

The boy’s new friend urges him out into the waves further. She assures him that it’ll be fine, that there are sand dollars waiting to be picked up on the sand bar. The boy, timid as he recollects his earlier experience, follows slowly, once again glancing over to the shore, trying to spot his father. As he looks out at the crowd of people, he catches a glimpse of his father’s head and raises his hand to wave. He’s sleeping in a beach chair with a potato chip bag on his lap as n anxious seagull eyes the bag of chips mysteriously and hops closer to his father’s chair.

The boy turns back to his friend as she waves him closer to the water. She’s already ankle deep and the sun is bouncing off the waves as they grow closer to her. A wave crashes directly in front of her, making her lose her balance for a moment before regaining stability and letting out a slight giggle. She again assures him it’s fine, the water’s fine, there are sand dollars out here.
He follows her. Sand dollars are special, he hasn’t found one all day. In his eyes, the ocean is his friend and exploration is necessary. He continues out further into the shallow water, his swim trunks stilling to his legs — goosebumps appear on his forearms. Small settling waves crash into the shore and as they approach him, he jumps over them, a game that never grows old. He giggles and splashes water at the girl, who is about 8 feet ahead of him.

He continues jumping over waves and battles the forces against him as he steps out to meet her. She’s so close, he’s almost there. The water is up to his waist now and he feels at home. He’s gotten used to the temperature, he can now enjoy the water. The girl is 2 feet from him, sanding on a sand bar, attempting to see through the water to the shells below her. She encourages him to come out just a bit further.

He reaches the sand bar, giving him height in the chest high water. He smiles and looks up at his father’s chair. He’s now awake and fending off the seagull with the bag of chips. The boy yells and waves to him, shaking his arms to catch the attention of his father. The sea is loud, filling the ears of all spectators, there’s no room for a small yell of a child.

A wave crashes behind him unexpectedly and pushes him underwater. He remembers earlier in the day and attempts to do what he did before. He reaches for the sand bar but can’t find sold ground. The solid mound of sand bar isn’t as solid as it seemed and has since disappeared. Where is the girl?

The world is spinning, sky and ground are colliding into one confusing cycle of sea and sand. The boy begins panicking, unsure of what will happen next. He opens his eyes and miraculously sees the ground and a white spherical shape. In his haste, he reaches for the sand dollar, which washes away from the force of his frantic movement. He can’t swim well. Another wave crashes above him and his arms are weak. His head floats to break the surface as he tries to lift it to the sunlight. As he does, he hears the shouts of his friend, yelling for help. The waves overcome her voice. He is spinning but somehow he sees the shore. He thinks he sees his father surrender the bag of chips to the seagull as he sprints towards the water.

Just when the boy thinks it’ll be okay, another wave crashes on his head, pulling him under into the riptide.

His father should be here soon.


Poetry: Pt. 2

Our spotlight is
the moon,
guiding us up
as the rugged stage darkens.

Two of us ahead,
instantaneously conversing,
the rush of cars;
our soundtrack.

We cautiously lead, follow,
over loose rocks and
awkward steps
shuffling into the known

Continuing on,
sharing memories,
no longer acquaintances.
My foot slips;
crumbling the stage.

We reach the end
embracing the cool mist
bouncing off the stone,
gliding through the air;
a silent applause.

Across the valley
the mountains mirror
our moon.
With a starry company
dancing around
the curve of the cliff.

I follow and
waltz down the trail,
gracefully twisting my ankle
as the night’s song ends,

with the mountains
as my audience.


Who are you? What’s your name? What do you do? How old are you? Are you really? Are you in school? Do you have a job? What are you? Where do you go to school? Have you ever walked up the stairs so fast your calves are as tight and hard as the rocks of the Grand Canyon? Did you know that the Grand Canyon is still being shaped? Isn’t that so cool? Do you like to travel? Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon? Did you go to the north or south rim? Where would you want to go? Is Europe worth visiting, with all that history and culture and people? Can you taste a difference in the air? Can you tell you’re in a different country, or is it just the same with different climates and people? Do you feel like a foreigner? Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in? Have you ever sat in a room full of people and just know you’re not one of those people? Does that make you less human, to not have a connection with people? If we’re all the same, how come we aren’t? Are you meticulous or are you spontaneous? Have you ever jumped off a cliff into the ocean as the wind pushes through your ears as you close your eyes and hope for the best? Have you ever taken a midnight walk? Isn’t the world at night eerie and wonderful at the same time? What’s your favorite planet? Do you ever think about the stars? Don’t you think space is weird? How are there universes and galaxies and planets and suns and black holes and dark matter and energy that we know basically nothing about? What is really out there? Is it like the deepest, darkest part of the ocean where we can’t get to it now, but we might in the future? Is it possible? Space doesn’t end but is there a point where we can’t go any further or study anything past a certain point because we can’t reach it? Do you think that there are different elements that we haven’t even recognized as different? What is different? Are you different? What music do you listen to? Do you like oldies? What about hip hop? Is there music you absolutely hate? Who do you hate? How is it possible to hate someone? Do you really hate them or do you just hate the things that they do? Is it cold in here or is it just me? Shouldn’t it be getting colder outside now that it’s fall? Don’t you think fall is the best time of year, with all the colors and leaves and breezy air and pumpkins? If you could live in a specific season for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Do you think you would get tired of your favorite time of year? Do we really need opposites to be happy? Can’t we live in a moment without fear of the opposing forces working against us? Isn’t that more a physics problem, opposing forces? What really happens when you jump in the air? Are we suspended in a specific place, or does that place move because the earth is moving? Do we land in the same place or is it slightly different? Isn’t the world weird? Don’t you think it’s strange? Does is scare you or does it intrigue you? Do you want to know more or do you want to let the world happen without fear of knowledge of the unknown? How are you doing? How old are you, again? What do you do? I’m so sorry, what’s your name, again?

On Locker Combinations

(The following post is a creative non-fiction essay assignment I had to do for my creative writing class. I haven’t turned it in yet, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. We were assigned to write about a past experience to answer a central question.)

Why can I remember my middle school locker combinations when I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner last night?

I can clearly recall the numbers of both combination locks I used as a middle schooler. I can clearly remember running to my locker to retrieve forgotten binders and misplaced books in the 5 minute passing periods they gave us. The five minutes that gave us the opportunity to test out our Olympic sprinting that we had been training for our whole life. As I glance up at the clock, a ringing bell sounds throughout the room, signaling the start of the five minute race. Bags are zipped, papers are crumpled, feet are out the door. Our training is being put to the ultimate test every day.


I can clearly recall successfully making it to the girls’ locker room just before the bell signaled the end of the race. I can clearly remember finding my row and maneuvering my way around dropped papers, scattered backpacks and dirty gym clothes. In addition to the five minute race across the middle school campus, we’re given another five to change into our gym clothes, yet another feat worthy of Olympic medal status.


Every day the routine was repeated. Bell rings, backpack is zipped, out the door, to the locker, down the stairs, next class. Repeat. I kept the same combinations for those three years of middle school and I haven’t forgotten them since. I don’t know what it is about those 6 numbers, carefully organized in a combination to keep my personal belongings from being taken by a up-to-no-good 12-year-old 7th grader, but I remember them like it was yesterday — when in reality is was 7 years ago. I can clearly remember these numbers, and yet I can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night.


Maybe it’s because I used the combinations every day. Maybe a part of me wishes I was still in the most inept time period of my life. Maybe I long for the day when I can use a lock again.

Maybe it’s because we, as a society, crave nostalgia. We crave the years past and dwell on the things we have or have not done. Unknowingly, we desire the things that we can never get back.

Now, I know. I don’t understand why my innermost self craves the days of clashing colors, failed hairstyles, terrible attempts at makeup, and sweaty pubescent bodies. Why would I want to relive the years from 11 to 13, where boys were still icky but we giggled when they talked to us? Why would I want to visit the days where physical education was still a requirement and people didn’t wear deodorant because they didn’t think they needed it?

The longer I live, the more things I get to experience and it’s amazing, however, those preteen years is this brilliant, unexplainable, gawky moment in everyone’s life that, in a way, unites us. No matter who you are, you had to go through that really uncomfortable stage of life, where you just didn’t fit in, you didn’t know what to do and you didn’t really know anything at all. These years between our childhood and teenage years, though strange and uninviting, are somewhat comforting.

It makes me cringe and twitch when I recall those crayon-inspired outfits and slicked back ponytail days, but you can’t escape the fact that we’ve all been through it. We grow up, we learn, we mature (well, some of us do), we experience our own lives, we make our own choices, but — much like crayons — we can’t erase those years. It unites us as one. It unites us as human beings. When we reminisce on those days, everyone can contribute their own stories and anecdotes without fear of disgust or hatred because we have all done it. We have all lived it.

I remember my locker combinations because I remember middle school. I remember awkward encounters and failed tests. I remember the way I felt when I it was the end of the world, when actuality, there was, and still is, so much more. I remember the desire to grow up, to be in high school, to be doing something with my life. I remember the days before the threat of SAT scores and college admissions. I remember the days where no one honestly cared what they looked like, we said we did and we thought we did — but we really didn’t. I remember the days before life really started happening.

Everyone desires the past. Nostalgia is inevitable and I feel that I have my locker combinations engraved into my memory because of it. I find that the things that we remember seem trivial and insignificant, mostly because they are, and yet we can find meaning in them. We search for the “why” and when we do, we find why it’s even just slightly important.

That is why I can remember my locker combinations. That is why when I pick up a lock, I instinctively put in 4-26-4 before realizing that I’m not 13, I don’t have tube socks on, this isn’t my lock and the combination won’t work.

This is why I think I might have had leftovers last night, but, quite honestly, I’m not even sure I’m correct.

In case you missed it:

I was published on about 2 weeks ago! I was going to post the link, but I completely forgot to do so.

So here it is!

Why I’ve Stopped Hiding My Insulin Pump

I’m Writing a Book

You probably already read the title, but I feel the need to repeat it because it’s the purpose of this post.

So…I’m writing a book.

Yep, you read that correctly.

I have decided to start writing the book that I’ve been meaning to start for over a year now. I was in bed, just about asleep when I decided that yes. I’m finally going to do it.

Well, I actually haven’t started writing it, but I have thought about writing it. AND I’ve taken some quick notes on the subject of which my book will be based around. I’m determined.

I’m planning to start writing said book soon. As in the next couple days.

I will keep you updated.