Surviving Ourselves

Pirata by Patrick Hasburgh

About a fifth of the way into Pirata, Nick Lutz tells his friend Megan that “We can survive ourselves.” He tells her this to reassure her that her son will get through a traumatic event he has just experienced. He says this with the resignation of someone who has survived himself. Probably more than once.

Nick is an American ex-pat living in Mexico for the last six years. After a series of tragic events he leaves his native Southern California—and his wife and young son—and heads south. He lives a simple life in Sabinita among surf buddies and locals. and pretty much does his best to be invisible. He’s surviving just fine. He’s not exactly thriving, though.

The killing of his surf pal Winsor [sic] involves Nick in a chain of events that forces him to open up his private world to include others. And just as it seems he’s created something of a new family in Mexico his old life rears its head and calls him back to California. What he finds there, though, bears no resemblance to what he left behind and it’s time to make new, and better choices.

We can survive ourselves.
—Nick Lutz

Nick is right, we can survive ourselves. It’s not hard to do. You just take the path of least resistance. That can mean avoiding confrontation, denying your fears, staying away from personal or professional challenges, pretending everything is okay, or living under the radar in Mexico.

It’s the thriving that takes a bit of an effort. It requires growth, change, confrontation, and honesty. Pirata is entertaining for sure—it’s a wild ride along an unpaved road to an unknown destination. But it’s also a window into the emotional development of a man whose habit is to keep to himself.

Patrick Hasburgh has written a story that will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next in adventures of this amiable surf bum, but also to see what he decides to do about it.

Pirata, by Patrick Hasburgh

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