HUMOR

The Old Child And The Sea

Finding dangerous levels of peace

Daniel Williams
3 min readJul 22, 2023

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Every summer, my little family and I go to Maine and pay our respects to the ocean.

We stand on rocky points, thinking of death and feeling like poets, we swim, hunt for sea glass, and we manipulate the sun into creating in us a powerful ice-cream need for the drive home.

This last ocean visit, my boy and nephews and I abandoned the family to search for lifeforms in tidepools, specifically any living thing that welcomed itself to the world during the Jurassic Period.

You guessed right: It was decapod time, the Atlantic rock crab, which I just learned is also called the “Peekytoe.”

This is the greatest thing you and I will ever learn today.

Before looking for sea life, we looked for sea-death in a restaurant, “The Lobster Shack,” establishing our aquatic dominance before hitting the beach.

I filled myself with fried shrimp and fried fries and as many chicken fingers as I could steal from my nephews.

Then it hit me:

heart disease.

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I was feeling congealed, full of deep fried mortality, so spiritually empty that I became wild about movement. I needed a workout almost as much as I needed ice cream.

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So, when I got to the beach, I raced from pool to pool, my boy and nephews following like seagulls after a rejected pile of unlovable meat, which is how I always feel after overeating.

We splashed around, lifted rocks, swished seaweed aside, and lunged for scuttling peekytoes.

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Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.