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Coconuts

There was a boy, my grandmother said. She and her classmates were celebrating the end of a school year at the beach, not unusual given they lived near the seaside. There were girls and boys, some eating, some dancing, some swimming in the water.

Then there was this one boy who had just eaten lunch and went swimming soon after. He was jumping from a boat far from the water. After some of his many jumps, he didn’t surface. He drowned, my grandmother said. He had eaten too much, and by the time he was rescued from the water it was too late.

Too many coconuts, she said.

It’s been thirty years since my grandmother told me this story, but with the way she told the story I felt like I was there swimming along with her and her friends. This is why I avoid eating an hour before a swim. I specifically avoid coconuts.