Whenever I put the meditation tape on in my home, right when I come back from the office, I can't help but feel like I've stepped into some sort of island paradise. I hear seagulls and waves and wind. Everything around me in motion you know? I look beyond the kitchen table and there are clouds scattered across the sky, shade under the trees, coconuts buried in sand. I forget that I'm 40 now and that I live in Panorama City and I'm still over weight and I have dirt under my finger nails. I grab a beer from the icebox and sit down on my couch, the waves coming in and out of the coast barely touches it. I hear it spray onto the leather and I hold my drink up and scoot a little inward so I don't get wet. I snap the beer open and I drink it down. It's cold and it tickles my throat and my eyes are closed.

I remember sharing a drink with my friends and then ditchn' them for the beach.

I drink the beer down clean. There's music coming on now. A big black man in sunglasses and a Hawaiian shirt lightly taps on little bongo drums smaller then his hands across from me on the other couch. Beside me, Kenny G's playing his sax rendition of "Black Magic Woman" and by the lamp, getting his feet wet, Santana's standing around waiting for his solo. I burp but the guys don't seem to mind, they just keep playing like I'm not there. I get up, and head to the back of the island, into the trees to throw away my can. The floor is getting softer and I could feel myself sink into it. I wiggle my toes and it feels nice.

I remember my son Andrew and how he burnt part of the carpet with a hot wheel (don't ask me how) and the house smelling like burnt plastic for a couple of days. The beach seemed really small in the car that week, but at least the smell wasn't there.

I go farther, the music and the sound of the ocean slowly getting far away too. I pull some trash bins back behind my fence. I go back to the beach through my back door. When I get inside Kenny and the others are already gone and I'm all alone. I sit down on the couch and close my eyes and now I hear Rebecca. We're fighting and there's a lot of shouting and so much noise. I can't hear the palm trees swaying or the seagulls or the wind. I open my eyes and I'm still there, with Rebecca, and the shouting, and the loud, ugly noises. I get up and Rebecca's following me through the house. I find my boom box unplugged and I bend down to plug it back in.

I head to the couch, lie down, close my eyes and listen to the waves, the trees swaying, and the seagulls. Rebecca's getting farther away. Kenny picks his sax back up and starts playing again. The jazz is smooth and the beach is beautiful. I open my eyes and watch a storm in the distance with thunder that sounds like crying and lightning that looks like tears.