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I was just twenty-two when Dad passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack.
He died on a beach after a long day of doing what he loved most, surfing the waves of Southern California. By now I had become quite independent already out on my own and supporting myself. Nevertheless the news came as quite a shock. Dad and me hadn’t been spending any time together. My life trajectory had already taken it’s course. Somedays I’d completely forgotten about him because of how busy I was living my life. He was almost estranged.
It was at a party downtown that things came rushing back. I overheard a group of people talk about the homeless surfer dude, panhandling for change while ranting about how something evil was happening at Sea World. Going on and on about the place being a prison and compared it to concentration camps. The very next day he was found dead laying face down in the sand a quarter mile south of Sea World in San Diego California.
I remember the first time I saw the Orca show at Sea World. It was on my tenth birthday. Dad got me up early that day so we would be the first people inside the park. It was also the perfect time to sneak inside without paying the admission. During this period it was just Dad and me. I had, and still have, no memory of my mother. Dad told me she died giving birth. For years I’d wear this fact wrapped around me like a extra heavy guilt blanket. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of knowing how someone died so you can live. A burden of all burdens, so to speak.
Instead of having our go at anything we wanted inside the practically empty park Dad opted to head straight for the Orca tank and arena. The show didn’t start for another few hours but he made us wait at the entrance so we could sit in the splash zone. And sit we did, right there on the concrete in front of the arena gate, waiting.
Dad was a quiet guy. He didn’t say much so when words were spoken it was always to the point and sharp in tone. He was content in his subdued demeanor. I however turned out to be the opposite, “chattering away, just like your Mother” as Dad so eloquently put it. But as we sat there waiting for the first show to start Dad was unusually talkative.
“It’s important we sit in front” he kept reminding me, with an urgency in his voice.
He mapped out our seat plan as the first show was approaching and other patrons began to line up behind us. We’d head right to the middle section and claim our spots making sure to not linger about. I remember not feeling too worried, the place was light with people and summer hadn't quite kicked into gear. But Dad was anxious. The importance of sitting up front was ever so important to him.
Once the gates opened he rushed me to the dead center front row seats. We had an amazing view of the crystal blue water that resided just beyond clear Plexiglas front of the tank. I knew instantly why Dad made us wait, especially once the big and beautiful whale swam by. It was breathtaking.
We endured an amazing show and I was soaked from head to toe. Each time the whale would propel itself out of the water for a big splash down Dad would stand with his arms raised high, capturing as much water possible. After the first douse, he was making me do the same. Dad was always odd that way. When he wasn’t hustling a living for us, he was surfing. He detested the working world and reserved himself to painting houses or fixing fences but mostly, he surfed.
Despite his long hours in the ocean carving waves we always managed to get by and in some cases even had a little extra to spend. I learned a lot from watching Dad, the jobs he took on, how he managed his money versus the time it took him to earn it. He was masterful, a genius even.
We were living an of the grid life and it showed as we both stood amongst the crowd with our arms stretched high taking in the mammoth splashes. Dad and I were having a good time despite the ever so common stomach rumbles I’d become used to. Like I said before, we lived off the grid and this included the food we ate. Our diet at the time included a strange mix of cheap frozen foods and any fruits we could snatch off neighborhood trees. And living in San Diego County this meant lots of oranges and avocados. Every now and again we were no strangers to a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with cheese but the one food that was absolutely off the table was sea food.
I recall the tirade Dad had after catching me eating fish sticks. It was such a violent outburst of words I thought he was going to physically hurt me. He actually sliced a small piece of his ear lobe off daring me to eat it.
“Would you eat yourself?!!” he yelled at full throttle.
Dad had such a deep respect for the ocean and everything that resided in it feeling as though we were part of that big endless blue. Needless to say, I grew up not eating sea food and Dad’s healed over, half cut ear lobe was a constant reminder.
Once the show ended we stayed in our seats waiting for the larger crowd to disperse. Dad stood me up and fixed my disheveled clothing as if to prepare. We then walked up to the Plexiglas for a closer look at the magnificent fish still swimming about. Dad had us take a knee to get in close and that’s when the Killer Whale swam by. It seemed to stop as it passed by us giving Dad and I a close look. I remember it’s big black eye looking as though it knew me.
After, Dad led us right to one of the main aquariums, the “World of Fishes”. It’s here that we spent most of the day. Dad became his normal quiet self admiring the sea life with a solid grin. At one point I think his eyes would well up with tears. He placed me directly in front of the glass as if presenting me to the wild life on the other side. A few times, to my surprise the fish seemed to gather in front watching us closely but I wasn’t quite sure.
Every so often Dad would bring up Mom.
“This was our favorite place” he said at one point as his emotions got the best of him.
He then took my hand and led me towards, what I recall as, an emergency type exit. The door was hard to make out inside the darkened building. One would not know it was there unless you had knowledge of the location. Dad possessed such knowledge and managed to somehow open it. I remember hearing a ‘beep’ sound, as if a security card was used once he walked us through. I felt a curious panic walking down the long service tunnel complaining quietly that we shouldn’t be in here. He just smiled back and kept us moving along as if he’d been there before and knew exactly where he was going.
Long thick pipes lined the top of the corridor and seemed to extend further along than I could see. It felt as though we were heading slightly downward once we came to a fork. Another door sealed off the direction towards the right, the open left portion I could see continued on downwards. I recall another ‘beep’ sound and the closed door opened for us to continue.
This corridor was distinctly different. It was old and aging badly as the foul sea water smell and rusting pipes indicated. Withered water leaked down as we walked forward. Our footsteps clashed against the rusty puddles that collected on the hard concrete. The dim lighting was provided by industrial bulbs hanging from the ceiling every forty yards or so. It was just enough for us to get by without being in total darkness.
“Don’t be afraid” Dad would reassure, pulling me in a little closer as we walked. This brought me only the slightest comfort with my mind wanting to know just where we were going.
“We’re almost there” he said, again with a reassuring tone.
After another fifty yards we reached total darkness. The end of the road it seemed. We stood for a few moments in complete silence. The only sounds were the drip-drops of rotten salt water seeping from broken pipes onto the small puddles beneath. And then, a series of fluorescent lights struggled to turn on lighting the larger room before us.
This place was just as old and run down as the tunnel we had emerged from. Outdated machinery lined the walls, dormant and silent. The large buttons and wide gages resembled a technology that predated even my age at that time. This room was old and long abandoned. At it’s center was a large fish tank. The water inside was cloudy and stagnant. More of the outdated machinery sat at it’s base. At one time something was alive inside and closely monitored.
Dad slowed in closer, gazing forward and silent. He reached into his pocket pulling out a dried out piece of seaweed then placed it on one of the machines in front of the glass. He pulled me in close to his side.
“Never talk about this place” he said. I nodded back quietly. We stood there looking on for a few minutes before heading back out.
We emerged from a utility shed that lined an unaccessible part of the beach property Sea World occupied. We past through a few gates and fences eventually leading us to the parking lot where we’d catch the bus back home. The whole time Dad never said a word, and as I recall, neither did I. The thought of asking him why we were there, on my birthday no less, did not occur to me. Something inside already knew, but I was still engulfed in confusion. The next few days soon became weeks, then months. Time shot forward quickly and on my sixteenth birthday I mustered up the courage and asked Dad about that time we went to Sea World. He reminded me angrily to never talk about it. Seven years later Dad was dead.
Things were cloudy during that whole time. Arranging funeral preparations were mixed with the cold hard truth that I was on this Earth without parents. Even though I had already lost my connection with Dad during those last few years, I felt incredibly alone. Despite whatever it was that preoccupied me, I always knew Dad was still out there, and now he was not.
At the time of his passing I inherited all of his possessions, two boxes of miscellaneous clutter, another few boxes of clothes and his surfboard. He lived in a closed porch that belonged to an elderly Lady he’d done some yard work for. For all intents and purposes, Dad was basically homeless. This nice Lady give him a little space which is all Dad ever needed. She was the only person, besides myself, that was at his funeral service.
I ended that day with questions that I had not asked myself in a very, very long time. About my Mother, about Dad. No one was there to tell me anything. These questions lingered with me throughout my life, as I entered the working world, when I met my wife and started our family. It was my wife that provided only the slightest of answers.
While cleaning out the garage she came across Dad’s boxes. I had never bothered to look in them. Inside were a few interesting bits of his history. Most notably an employee badge from Sea World and a few documents from his time there. Dad worked in maintenance at the park during the early seventies, which would be right around the time I was born. Another strange bit of fact was there was absolutely no proof of my actual birth within any of his stuff. The only thing I knew was my Mom had died during labor and I that have a social security number.
Over the years I’ve had many conversations with my wife regarding all this. I told her about the most curious visit to Sea World on my tenth birthday. About my Dad and his reputation around the city as a Sea World hating, homeless surfer dude. To his credit, he was among the first to denounce the place. He warned of danger and rebellion from “The King” which one could interpret was a killer whale getting revenge on it’s captors. Was it a coincidence that the fish Tilikum managed to eventually fulfill this? Possibly.
As I sit here now, watching the new “Orca Encounter” a grown man with a beautiful family, I can’t help but think how right Dad was. He knew that the happenings here were fundamentally wrong. It was only a matter of time until the public caught on. It’s a shame it took a tragedy to see it realized. This place is a completely different experience now, with roller coasters and thrill rides. It’s transformed into educational “encounters” instead of the carnival shows from before. All for the best, for sure.
But what about the things I’ve seen that Dad asked me never to talk about? Or the battle scars he’d have on his body after a long day of surfing? What was he doing out there? Did something happen to him? Dad's autopsy revealed a large parasite had taken up residence in his ears from countless days in the ocean, surfing the polluted southern west coast. Could this have had an effect on his mental state?
Because of Dad it’s no small wonder why I despise the sight and smell of seafood, but sitting here back at Sea World finds me with an intense anxiety. I’m overwhelmed by a feeling of suffocation, like being contained in a place to which there is no escape.
I feel a deep connection to the animals contained here, like I’m visiting extended family. Is it possible that I am? Or is it a coincidence that I have Syndactyly (a webbed toe) on both feet? I could be sharing the same DNA as the colorful and vibrant life swimming before my eyes, as Dad once revealed to me.
Or it could just be the ramblings of one crazy homeless surfer dude.
By Em Leonard/u/Em_Leonard to r/clancypasta
A few days ago I went to my local beach I eased my way In to the cold water no one was really there that day which is strange because it was pretty hot that day. I didn’t really mind that no one was there I love swimming so people not being there meant I had the almost the whole beach to my self. I started to swim one hand after the other as I swam my foot got stuck one something it felt like it was a hook or a fishing net I got untied and continued to swim. Again and again I kept getting stuck on something so I finally decided to check out what I was getting stuck on I dived into the water what I seen was no fishing net it was a girl her face was as white as could be it was basically luminous in the murky water she had high check bones and her hair was a raven black but her eyes her eyes were like snake eyes a green so deep that you couldn’t find a way out of her gaze it was like I was bewitched buy her beauty.
I still was staring at the girl but the odd thing was I never had to breathe it’s like I was breathing under the water...... I want to reach out and touch her face to see if she was real I got the courage to touch her my hand was about to touch her face but she disappeared I didn’t know why she left but then I looked up and seen a life guard coming my way the guy grabbed me and pulled me out he had said I was under water for about 5 minuets it didn’t even feel that long to me it was about 20 seconds.
Yesterday was the first day I’ve been to that beach in days I wanted to know more about that girl in the lake so I searched up car recks or disappearances in the lake to my surprise I found something a girl named Alice Johnson had smashed into a tree and her body was thrown into the lake but her body was never found. I started to swim and I felt that pulling sensation again I dived under as fast as I could and seen her again but she was different her skin wasn’t that soft looking china doll anymore it had wrinkles and when she smiled her teeth were rotten and her mouth became a big smile I didn’t understand why she was smiling then blood started to come out her mouth. She started to swim so I followed her she led me so far out the beach seemed like a little island she led to the bottom of the lake all I seen was a pile of bones I screamed as loud as I could but the only thing that came out of my mouth was water I looked at the girl she had a smile that seemed so un natural it scared me I swam as fast as I could I will never be back to that beach guys be careful of the lady in the lake.submitted by /u/laewan to r/nosleep
Holy swimming pools. Holy hot tubs. Holy water parks. Holy drinking water.submitted by /u/LillaeDurannae to r/NoStupidQuestions
The UNG Hawking was the first ship designed not only to study beyond the asteroid belt but carry a crew. Before her maiden voyage, the furthest out a human had gone themselves was a brief two orbit flyby of Jupiter. At best speed, that cost the crew a year of their lives.
A decade later, the Hawking set out on a six year mission to visit Jupiter, Uranus & Neptune.
The first footstep on Io. Swimming in methane on Titan. The images were broadcast live (minus the speed of light delay) to everyone on Earth and the still forming Mars colony.
The trip was a rounded success...until the trip home.
The orbit windows on the way out took the ship from planet to planet, never more then a few weeks in the void. The trip back, however, took the ship through the dark open spaces on the opposite side of the Sun.
That is where the damned stumbled upon a wormhole. So small and minor they registered but a minor gravity fluctuation before slipping through it.
In the future the wormhole would be a great asset to humanity. A naturally formed phenomena that instantly flung a ship halfway to Proxima Centauri, which just so happens to have another earth like planet (we'll learn).
After the Ion drive is invented 20 years later, it enables the colonization of a whole extra-solar system within a century.
The wormhole is named The Hawkins Einstein-Rosen Bridge, but referred to commonly and affectionately as the Wheelchair...the irony of a ship named after Stephen finding the first bridge not lost on the world.
There was only one, small thing all those great theorists got wrong about wormholes though.
They're only one way.submitted by /u/dannylandulf to r/shortscarystories
I’m currently on at the end of my third day without masturbation for a faproulette (it might last a month or more, it's hard to say), I update my progress everyday here. It will only get better as I unlock the ability to do anal, tease myself, and edge.
Just for fun, I thought I’d see if anyone here has any truths or dares for me. Keep in mind I'm currently not allowed to touch my cock, do anal, and especially not allowed to cum. I made a house rule for my denial roulette that I can increase my multiplier a little bit (see my post for details) for each request I fulfill, so I’m eagerly awaiting anyone to ask for photos or give me some naughty task. I'll reply tomorrow (the 19th).
Have at it, guys! <3submitted by /u/tarcsowo to r/TruthOrDareMe
they've said it like 300 times come on nowsubmitted by /u/PiplupTCG to r/brockhampton
[Wednesday July 18 2018] Man finishes 50-state trip to mow lawns for elderly, disabled and veterans; recipients of thank-you letters are more touched than we expect finds new study; 12 new moons discovered around Jupiter; Google Fined Record $5 Billion...
Thailand Cave Boys Say They Want To Be Navy SEAL Divers In First Public Comments Since Rescue
[Title Post] Man finishes 50-state trip to mow lawns for elderly, disabled, and veterans
[Title Post] Underestimating the power of gratitude – recipients of thank-you letters are more touched than we expect, finds new study published in Psychological Science.
Elon Musk, DeepMind founders, and others sign pledge to not develop lethal AI weapon systems
Can we remove a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere? Ocean ecologist Russ George explains how ocean restoration will lower greenhouse gases and bring back fish stocks to levels not seen for generations
[Title Post] Google Fined Record $5 Billion by EU, Given 90 Days to Stop ‘Illegal Practices’
Walmart is reportedly working on its own streaming service to challenge Netflix and Amazon, and it might cost less than $8 a month
In Mad Men, Don Draper turned 18 sometime in 1944, but wasn’t drafted during WWII. How likely would an eligible man like himself miss the draft?
What was the worst decision you saw a friend or family member make?
What activity is socially accepted but actually borderline psychotic?
TIL that freestyle in swimming technically means you can swim in any style; however the front crawl is synonymous with freestyle since it is the fastest and most efficient stroke.
The Hill, Pen and Ink, 12x12cm
Morning After, Alyssa Monks, oil on linen, 2004 (top), 2014 (bottom)
King of the Hill reruns will start airing on Comedy Central July 24th
Street performer in Barcelona.
Every student needs one
The precision of this hydraulic press.
This nail polish being mixed
Professional frogman Courtney Brown tows a 55-foot scale model of the Titanic during work on the film "Raise the Titanic!", 20 June 1980 [2000×1321]
Meet Coco the Aussie. She wanted to say hello.
Hermit crabs need to find new shells to move into as they grow. If one finds a shell that is too big it'll wait for a larger crab to come along so it can take their old shell. Other crabs congregate waiting for available shells and form a line from largest to smallest so they can all swap shells.
Everyday we’ll feature a selected small subreddit and its top content. It's a fun way to include and celebrate smaller subreddits.Today's subreddit is... /r/LanguageTechnology
Its top 3 all time posts
When do we want what?
An NLP blog for beginners that a friend and I have started. Weekly articles with code in Python.
Natural language processing techniques used to analyze net neutrality comments reveal massive fake comment campaign
hey all - i'm headed to the shore for the next few days - another mod will step in to post if they can, if not posts will resume Wednesday the 25th. as always, thanks for reading!submitted by /u/kaunis to r/tldr
I have had my new glasses for about 4 months and they cause me eye strain when I wear them (it is not wrong prescription)
Hi guys, I have a very irritating problem. When I wear my glasses it causes me eye strain.
Below are some speculative reasons. Disclaimer: It may seem doubtful that these small things are causing my glasses to stain my eyes. However for the past couple years, I have had uncomfortable/sensitive eyes (dry eyes, allergies to dogs which frequently come to my house- which are further irritated by chlorine from work, being in pool 6h a day = washing of tear film plus being prone to bacteria- might have very mild blepharitis, light sensitivity, already probably strained eyes from lots of computer use.- only this week have I started to sleep in my basement and stopped work for my parents to see if it helps), so maybe any little thing is a big thing to me.
I remember not wearing them often when I first got them because (possibly) the nose piece was less comfortable (used to the integrated ones). I think it may be due to the fact that since the nose piece was uncomfortable I kept reverting to my old glasses and I never really had time for the adjustment phase. But when I called my optometrist he said that the change in prescription was not by a lot. (I am tanking it right now and this is the 2nd day, I’ll see how it goes).
I know that most likely the prescription is correct because when I look through them my vision is clear (not blurry/fuzzy).
The third thing that could be causing it is the fact that my lens has some scratches on it. (I am in the water teaching swimming hours a day so when I wipe them the minerals in the water probably scratches it - not visible from a plain look but can be seen when I look closely or shine a light on the lens). Another thought is can the clearer vision awaken me and it causes me to open my eyes more which is a less relaxed eye position? A fourth thought is: can the pinching of the nose area somehow cause eye strain?
As I was typing this I realized how many hardwater spots my glasses had (prev been trying to use spray cleaner and wipe but just now I had to let them soak in detergent and now the stains are gone). It feels slightly better though still straining.
Thanks, Justin.submitted by /u/greentothemoon to r/optometry