I started reading Colson Whitehead's Sag Harbor this morning. So much I could put up here, but this one was just too good to pass up. I'm sure there will be more to come (guy's brilliant).
"I walked up to where the beach crumbled away into the ocean. Left Left faced the Atlantic, not that meager, lapping bay crap. Not big enough to surf in except in front of an advancing hurricane--you had to go up to Montauk for that, and none of us was so inclined. There were no houses beyond the waves, no slim spits of land, as on our turf. Just invisible continents. It was the Edge of Things, and the Edge liked to grab at you, pull you in. I wasn't even toe-deep in the water when I heard my mother's warnings in my ears, "Watch out for the undertow!," which wasn't a bad philosophy, really, applicable to most situations in a metaphorical sense, but I hated being so conditioned. I never went past where I could feel the bottom beneath my feet, so riptides and undertow weren't much of a concern. But you could feel it, even in the shallows--the ravenous pull when the ocean sucked back into itself to gather for the next wave, the next volley in its siege against land and landlubbers--i.e., you. The ocean was kidnapping arms and a muffled voice that said, You ain't much at all are you? Nope not much at all. Sand beneath my feet, that was my rule."