“If at first you don’t succeed” his teacher said, rapping his wrist with a ruler less sharp than words. Today warm tears bleed memory, while ocean currents swirl around his skin.
Thoughts press in. “Use a needle. Lance the boil.” He sees his mother’s helpful smile—his whole life now before him—tries again.
You’ll find a needle in a haystack, he thinks, my life’s direction perhaps, if winter’s storm can blow away the chaff. “Keep trying,” he cries.
And though he’d thought to lose his life, he chooses not to die, then swims himself ashore against the tide.