Playing with Fire

Many children, especially boys,like to play God. They take in handa magnifying glass and hold it –just so – until a concentrated beamof heat from the sunlances to the groundto cruelly burn bugs to a crisp. We like to pretend we are in control.At the end of the day, though,Mother Nature puts us in our […]

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1. The Eighth of November There’s a heavy air about the campus today. As I walk past my peers and professors, some with their faces downcast, others looking forward as best they can, they all greet me the same way. A slow, open-palmed wave. A prolonged twitch of the mouth: not a smile, it’s too […]

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4:30 AM

Because of the fire, we had to evacuate our dormsand we have been stuck in the campus library for eight hours.For the umpteenth time, she tells me that she feels sick,nauseous, and that she feels like vomiting. I stand up –me in my sweatpants and hoodie, her in her leggingsand her sweatshirt – and I […]

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When a cop bursts into the libraryand yells Fire! Get out! We will not protect you!panic ensues, because the plan had beenstay in place where we are surroundedby concrete and greenery,that which does not easily burn. The firemen assure us that we should not leave;cops and firemen spar with harsh wordsand try to pull rank […]

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War Zone

Like sardines, we crowd into the cafeteria and library.Like sardines we huddle against the wall and each otherand we wait for the threat of heated violence to pass.In the back study room by the DVDs,I hold her in my arms; she is shakingfor fear of the flames. A moment ago,we saw them on the hillside.The […]

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Smoke Clouds

Less than twenty-four hours ago we received news that one of us, a Wave named Alaina Housley, was shot and killed. Now, some eighteen hours later, we awaken to plumes of smoke on the horizon, churning in the air as fire blazes towards us. We must force mourning out of our minds and focus on […]

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Driving Home for the Weekend

The sunset catches every speck of dust on my windshieldas I drive home for the weekend, my girlfriend sitting shotgun.It’s her first time visiting my hometown,and I can’t wait to show her my old haunts:the nature reserve a good bike ride from my housein which I find myself alone with God and prickly pears;the old […]

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Thousand Oaks Shooting

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Route 91. Pulse. Pittsburgh Synagogue.   So many tragedies that it’s become a list, a statistic, a common occurrence. Just one angry deed among many, occasionally worthy of momentary fame as tragedy gives way to normalcy for I am calloused to catastrophe. Why doesn’t it hurt me that somewhere someone is hurting? […]

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This is an Important Message

This is an Important Message from Pepperdine University. Malibu and Calabasas classes are canceled and offices closed on Friday the ninth due to wildfires. We are initiating shelter-in-place protocols. Relocate to the Tyler campus center or firestone fieldhouse now. To confirm that you have received this message, press 1.   It’s seven in the morning, […]

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