Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine.
It’s late November, two days before Thanksgiving. Two days before the Alvarez family reuninion.
Emily is standing in the cold, shallow water of the ocean. Her feet are numb and wrapped in wet, cotton socks. She has never seen the ocean before. She has never smelled its clean, salt air. And although night is coming and a storm is on the horizon, she doesn’t ever want to leave.
Salt water sprays across her legs and the icy, November wind finds her body underneath her brother’s shirt. It makes her shake and shiver so that she has to hold herself and clench her teeth to make it stop. Why – she thinks – had she never learned to swim? She wants to go out farther and deeper – the mysterious is pulling at her – but fear holds her back. Fear of everything that is and could be beneath the surface of the waves.
Her brother, who up until now has been watching from the shore in a winter coat that she refused to wear, finally turns and starts heading back toward the parking lot.
So, for a few moments, before the ocean gets too violent and the air too cold, she is alone. She thinks back to earlier in the day, while flying above New York:
“Your grandmother, Lily, who you used to send letters to when you were younger, is getting very old. And I know you’ve never met her, but everyone says you look just like her when she was a girl. I’ll introduce you to her… She might even remember you.”
The plane ride from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Augusta, Maine had taken eight long hours. Her mother had had plenty of time to talk about all of the relatives that Emily had never met. All of the kids who had grown up so fast. The sisters who played volleyball in college and the boy who won second place in a high school state science fair. And then she spent an hour talking about her own mother. And maybe – maybe – she wiped away a tear.
“This will probably be the last time you get to see her.”
Friday, January 18
Sand Beach, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Thursday, July 12
Every day there is everything unknown
Sat atop the tower of forgiveness
Eyes like galaxies unbound
Fingers pinching the invisible strings
That guide the puppet author
In us all
Wednesday, July 11
He dragged his finger along the edge of the painted butterfly wings, coating his fingertip with grainy pollen. The fragile wing cracked under the pressure and a small flake of black unhinged itself and flipped through the still air as it fluttered to the ground.
Peter tried to decide if his conscience would allow him to let this insect fly away, damaged and unpretty as it was. Should he not rather crush its small body and be done with it? Or perhaps instead he should pin its wings against the ground with stones and let it slowly burn away in the hot sun.
He took the other wing between his fingers and carefully pressed along its edge, destroying it so as to make it match the other. And as the border of the colorful wing crumbled, the dark furry butterfly body trembled weakly.
He unpinched his fingers and let it free, and the butterfly flew away, up beyond the tree it had been captured under. Peter collected the broken remnants of butterfly wings into a silky green-yellow leaf, folded it three times, and slipped it into his pocket.
Then, rising from the tree stump he was sitting next to, he walked palpably toward the winding creek that ran through these woods. He sat down next to it, resting in the dirt and dirty autumn leaves, and he dipped his cupped hand into the water, twice pulling a drink to his lips. The clear water tasted like the frozen earth that it had trickled from.
Peter closed his eyes and reached deep into the pocket that did not have a folded leaf in it, and after some searching he retrieved a penny. He found a soft spot in the creek and pushed the coin into the dirt there. Then he placed a rock over it and let out into the world his desperate hope that he could be more than what he already was.
Sunday, June 24
Well, I'm on vacation now, already sunburned. I (probably) won't be posting again until the middle of July.
I recently wrote a story that I like. You can find it below.
Worth a Look
- The Abortion Debate - Carl Sagan
- Balance (won an Oscar for Best Animated Short, 1990)
- Spin - God is a DJ (a video short)
- Boxhead: More Rooms (fun game)
- Infanticide: Forbidden Knowledge
- Jake and Amir: Barely Even Comedy (hilarious videos)
- What it's like to be shot--scroll down to the fourth comment
- Four Short Crushes (new yorker)
- Some of the most powerful images from around the world
- Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger (video)
- How I Got Out of Writing an Essay on H.G. WELLS’ The Time Machine
- Make a Beautiful Person
- The Prank War (videos)
- Insomnio (a blog)
- The Difference (comic)
- A collection of original translations of the Iliad
- Ninja Game (addicting)
- Quotes Database (funny)
- Calvin & Hobbes
- Good for Wasting Time (my other site)
- Acting Smarter Than You Are
- Sexual Consent (funny video)
- cheese epiphany
- Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades (funny)
Blog Post Archive
- I'm a web designer and a creative writer. I worked at a music discovery startup called Songism in 2006, then I worked at an curriculum sharing startup called BetterLesson in 2010, and right now I'm working at a small business marketing startup called ThriveHive.