Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 13

Undertow: A Valentine to My Father
Inspired by Sarah McLachlan’s Surfacing
by Gavin Lakin

The winter here’s cold, and bitter
It’s chilled us to the bone
We haven’t seen the sun for weeks
Too long, too far from home
I feel just like I’m sinking
And I claw for solid ground
I’m pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
Oh darkness, I feel like letting go…

With unparalleled vindictiveness, El Niño chose Valentine’s Day 1998 to undermine the foundation of what had been our family’s treasured beach house. Our sixty-feet of bluff, dotted with pampas grass and ice plant—over which we’d immersed ourselves in years of picturesque sunsets and the thunderous pulse of the crashing waves—had mostly plummeted into the tidal tempest some one-hundred-fifty feet below, taking our haven out to sea.

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