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A Trip to the Ocean This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Pull on the bathing suit. Double-check the backpack for towel and goggles. Dive into the bottle of sunscreen. Make sure every inch of skin is faintly white, slightly sticky, and almost damp.

Slip into the swim shoes. Walk along the resort neighborhood road. Pass the pool: a center of water explosions and shouts of glee.

Continue through a tunnel of trees that try to capture the sun with the net of their branches and keep it from the road. Follow that road past the court of tennis, where the King and Queen are the players with the greatest skill, the strongest arm, the quickest feet. Their crown of sweat is earned in the battle of sport. Their canons, launched by hand and racket, are green, small, and non-exploding, yet their aim is deadly.

Follow yet another smaller road: a sidewalk. See it rise in sets of stairs to face blankness, like a great blue sheet of nothingness, like looking into a crystal clear bottomless pond. No buildings, only sky.

Chase your shadow, which is slanting longer and longer. Overtake the stairs, your feet climbing higher and higher. And then ... let your eyes feed on the ocean. The absolute size.

Think of two countries held apart by the water and the open sky, two countries connected by the tiny invisible signals of the Internet and phone; two people connected by the biggest, grandest invisible thing - friendship. Think all that in a moment, then drop your backpack, adjust your goggles, and run to the sea.

Let it swallow you, toss you, gargle you, stroke you, throw you, roll you, push and pull you. Feel its immense strength test yours, slip beneath a wave as it crashes - accidentally taste the saltwater and spit it out.

Panting, drag yourself away from the locking grasp of the current. Stand still for a moment and again gaze outward. Feel the wind defy your ideas of fashion and toss your hair everywhere it pleases.

Trek back along the same route; now abandoning your shadow behind you; now watching the trees succeed in catching and diffusing the sun as the coming of night takes away all the golden sphere’s powerful light.

Stop at the pool, stand beneath the shower, and shiver. Water tickles all across your scalp, wakes you up. Then sit on the edge of the pool and let your feet dangle in swirls of liquid turquoise and silver; dangle in the thin vein of liquid gold that manages to leak through the trees here. Then dunk your whole body in, into the place where gravity seems to dissipate, where your body is a feather and the world is the air you’re floating in

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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