An excerpt from my trusty Moleskine notebook

I miss visiting the ocean.  Perhaps, it could be said, I am experiencing a sort of help-me-I’m-trapped-in-the-Hell-of-retail cabin fever.  I’d like to argue I miss stepping out onto the deck, or walking down to the beach, and seeing so many stars.  I mean, if you think about it, there’s something so humbling about how we’re all on a gigantic rock going around a star that’s hurtling through space with billions and gazillions of similar rocks and stars

And let me clarify here: I miss the beach.  I miss throwing down a towel after trying, several times, to lay it down on the sand just right only to watch it flip up and get a light dusting of sand (read as “a small island worth of sand deposited inconveniently”).  The creative rush of building a sandcastle I invariably have to protect from the waves, which inevitably win out.

For all the love I have of the ocean, and its variety of critters, I am not overly fond of wading out into it for a good swim.  That’s what the heavily-chlorinated pool most beach houses have is for, right?  I’m not like this because of sharks, or the threat of getting swept out to sea, or anything quite so sinister (I mean, come on; I’m talking about the beaches of the Carolinas.  Not Australia, where everything can kill you).  This is largely because I have a lingering, and perhaps irrational, fear of jellyfish.  Several family vacations to beaches after some bad weather or another meant spending time tip-toeing beaches covered with stranded jellies.  There’s something about a brainless alien-looking blob equipped with poison-tipped knives that’s inherently difficult to trust.

I just want a chance to squish the sand between my toes and relax.  With some mightier-than-molten steel high SPF sunblock, because that’s the only way I could not end up looking like a very Irish lobster after a long stretch in a restaurant’s kitchen.

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