Black, grimy, gritty sand grinds between my molars. The smell of Half Moon Bay ocean spray erupts in my senses, a wave crashing on the rocks. Soft, chewy — malleable like my energy riding the tides of the day.

I split the shells open, like an old book I’ve have many a conversation with. Seeking wisdom and discernment, a friendly word of encouragement. Reaching for another tray — I’m at that french restaurant in north beach now. Diana’s new boyfriend reaches across the table and dips his bread in my soup.

My eyes twitch. I look at her to see her reaction. I should make a joke to draw a boundary. But I laugh nervously, always trying to people please. Draw the line.

Crunch on the shells, and grow some muscles. Flex. Firm, strong. Veins where the blood of a winner course through.