AFRAID OF THE OCEAN

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“It’s not moving, I tell you.” “The anchor’s down.” “Let’s swim there!” And it had seemed easy from the shore. The low tide had unveiled the pointed rocks usually under layers of sand, and beyond that the ocean was blue and light blue and green, which meant the bottom was sandy.

They kept their T-shirts on. The ship at sea was a cargo plying between the islands. A trawler followed in its wake. They both got bigger as they swam closer. Next, the sea stopped responding and it suddenly felt deeper than any creature could reach. The beach far away changed. The moon rose whiter than white in the sapphire sky of the day and it was high tide and a huge black stone was lifted and shattered on the shore, the tiny black bits sucked into the water and then hurled out, their noise like shivers down broken bones.

Afterwards, at 10, he was afraid of the ocean for a long time.

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