We Swam with Sharks

For a couple weeks, my friend Ahlem would say the same thing every night before we went out: “I’m leaving tomorrow,” she’d insist, in a voice that was perpetually hoarse from shouting the night before. But she’d still show up at the dive shop well after noon the next day, hung over, her wavy, honey-brown locks draped over her cut-off t-shirt.

“I swear to God, babe,” she said to me once (Ahlem was Australian, and called everyone “babe”). “This is one of the shittest places I’ve ever traveled to. But I can’t leave.”

Continue reading “We Swam with Sharks”

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Theories on Scar Tissue

The rocks had gotten bigger, I decided. That was right before I crashed.

It was the afternoon of my 31st birthday, and I was out chasing two fast girls on fast bikes off the backside of Le Tour ski resort in France, into Trient, Switzerland. I had done that descent a couple of times, but I felt off today. There seemed to be more loose rocks than I remembered. As I felt my legs shaking a bit, I regretted not having eaten anything but a couple of eggs that morning. I usually eat religiously, but had been in a rush to leave the house.

I saw that I was heading towards a large rock garden, so I hit the brakes and slowed to a standing near-stop to to assess things for a second. Continue reading “Theories on Scar Tissue”