we were young and dumb and proud; the keepers of the ocean. we ruled the shores like royalty. the sand beneath our toes- our loyal subjects. the thrum of constantly breaking waves were our anthem, our call to arms. we’d spend the night under the pale moonlight, swapping cigarettes for stories; and when day finally broke, and the first rays of sunlight touched the blessed land, you could find us on the outside, afloat in life, bobbing on the sea’s surface, keeping time with the heartbeat of our mother.