I live in a blue house. A blue house, on a cliff, beside the ocean. I hear the gulls call every morning and night. I see the sun rise above the waves and set amongst the trees. I walk down the dusty brown path, strewn with small gray pebbles that glitter with quartz, until I arrive at the large oak tree at the bottom. The squirrel lives in the large oak tree. I visit the squirrel, to amuse myself by its angry chatter. I walk down to the shore. There are pink conch shells in the sand, if you look hard enough. I’ve never found one, but my mother always said they’re there. I put my feet in the ocean and I think about how the waves never end, they always keep coming to touch my feet. I think about how the ocean stretches forever and ever and how much salt the world would have if we took all of the salt out of the ocean. Then I think about all the fish that swim in the ocean and I wonder why people are so hungry if there are so many fish in the ocean. I get hungry a lot because I’m a growing boy. My favorite food is fish. My mother makes the best breaded fish sandwiches. Many days I flop on the sand and I see how many grains of sand I can count before I get tired. I think about how there are millions and millions of tiny grains of sand and I imagine that they are little people I try to help them escape from the terrorizing waves. I scoop them up in clam shells and I run to deposit them amongst the rocks. I think of all the lives I saved. Then I notice that the waves keep going and if the waves keep coming, the sand grain people will keep dying. I think that the waves are like war and anger and hate and that war and anger and hate are destroying real people. I wonder if my dad is like the sand grain people safe in a clam shell of if he is one of the sand grain people laying out on the beach or if the waves have already taken him deep out into the ocean. I wonder what it is like at the bottom of the ocean. My teacher says there is no light and the fish are nasty and mean. Sometimes I think that the ocean really doesn’t have a bottom and eventually, if you keep on swimming, you’ll stop being in the ocean and start being in Hell. My teacher doesn’t like when I talk about what I think. She says it’s best to keep my opinions to myself. I told her that my mother always says that every person is important and that makes anything anybody says important and that nobody has any right to tell me that I can’t say something. My teacher’s face got red and blotchy-like and I had to sit in the principal’s office the rest of the day. When I’m tired of being at the shore, I walk back to the big oak tree and make faces at the chattering squirrel. We’re friends, even if he throws acorns at me from time to time. My friend Ricky lives in a big house along a black paved road. He has all the new toys and he’s very kind to let me have them once they get broken. He told me that his broken toys are the nicest toys I’ll ever have. He’s probably right, my mother can’t afford to get me toys very often, but I don’t mind. I like Ricky’s broken toys. Sometimes I imagine that I’m a famous repair man and that the world is depending on me to fix this toy. My mother said that Ricky is a bully, but I don’t see how bullies can be mean and give people their toys at the same time. Ricky is never mean to me, he only asks for a quarter every week so I can live peacefully. I don’t know exactly what he means, but I know that once Jimmy didn’t pay Ricky and I found out later that Jimmy had to go to the hospital. I figure that Ricky is protecting us from a monster that terrorizes innocent kids and a quarter is a small payment for such a heroic feat. So I don’t think that Ricky is a bully. Walking back up the path is difficult, and I have to take lots of breaks, but that doesn’t bother me. My mother says that I am very fortunate that not a lot bothers me and I don’t get angry very often. I think getting angry is bad, it never solves anything and it only makes other people angry when they weren’t angry before. My mother also says I’m very wise, but I don’t believe her. Only old people like my grandfather can be wise. Owls can be wise too, I think, but I’ve never talked to one so I don’t know for sure. When I reach the top of the path, I see my mother waiting for me at the door. She smiles at me and beckons for me to come inside our house. I like our house. It’s on a cliff, beside the ocean, and the sun kisses our roof at noontime. I live in a blue house.