Combray

The Pacific is my core. My ocean’s bouquet is what I’ve always known, but here, the Pacific’s as warm as the Atlantic, and crashes like it thinks it’s astride a craggy Highway 1. Bougainvillea wallpapers my sightline: magenta and scarlet and violet and insistent. So I’m back, a toddler in LA. And despite the indignity of wearing a stupid fucking frilly-ass polka dot bikini my mom loved because “it’s so cute” (I was never into being “cute”), I’m thrilled to be running around in the waves, my birthright. There aren’t many places where my three-year-old self felt free, but scampering and splashing in water up to my knees, with my parents multiple body-lengths away, was where my tiny little body and expansive fucking soul felt perfect. (“oh god it’s wonderful to get out of bed and drink too much coffee and smoke too many cigarettes and love you so much”)

The shorebirds, perched atop their spindles, step with perfect elocution. The ugly pelicans chill, and ascend, and kamikaze, and kamikaze, and chill. I hoist myself up big fucking wet rocks and crouch for the perfect shot, hoping the crabs won’t crab me, but they scurry away in absolute terror.

Today I awakeninged myself into this Pacific, dropped to my ass. Lay back, consumed in the sea’s tightest fucking pull, its demanding pulse wringing me for everything. And this undertow could kill me, but I don’t care; because this – this, right here – this is where I’m calling from.

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