Adrift

I awake. Cold and alone. Adrift in the open sea. The wreckage of my darling is still strewn about me like the blocks of a decimated building. I weep.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I awoke. The day broke my eyes open with a gentle pry. The day of our voyage was upon me and I could already taste the salt on my lips. O, how long it had been since my last trip and I couldn’t contain my desire. My wife was already awake, preparing may traditional pre-voyage meal: a simple beef stew. She always made sure there was enough left for me to bring along for the first few days. The taste was especially delicious this morning as it foreshadowed the trip I was to take. She does not know my love for the sea far exceeds my love for her. She may, in fact. But, it has never troubled her because she still holds a place dear in my heart.
I grabbed my hat and pulled on my overcoat. The things I wear every day anyway felt especially comfortable and natural. I kissed her goodbye and told her I would be back within the week. I was off…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Where did I go wrong? I took every measure the same as usual. Yet, when it hit, my love was devoured and now I lay here on a shred of her blouse gazing at the night sky. The stars have fled from my eyes as if I’m not worthy of their beauty. A chill sweeps over me. I must stay awake.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My first mate greeted me with a hearty hug and asked me if I was happy to be back out at sea. I was, of course, but couldn’t let on any sort of passion to my crew. They must view me as strong and hardened. Besides, my first mate was sensitive enough for the whole damn crew. Ha. I walked onto the harbor as anticipation grew within me. The moment I set foot on the ship, I was ready to depart. The whole crew was on time. Except for our lookout. We waited patiently. A half an hour had passed before I decided we must depart, so we left.
We collectively inspected the ship to ensure its safety and that everything was in working order. Nothing unusual, so we each grabbed the rope that held the anchor and labored it onto the deck. We were off…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The salt has taken on a new bitterness. I am chilled to the bone. The tears still linger. Frozen to my face. I can hardly breathe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our deckhand had brought a barrel full of his homemade rum. He had, by far, the best damn rum a sailor had ever tasted. After navigating the shallows and settling into the open seas, we all sat around at high noon and drank and reminisced on past trips. Five years strong, this crew has faithfully served together. Our navigator had brought a few pounds of the tobacco from his crop, so we all pulled out our pipes and smoked together. We drank. We smoked. We ribbed on each other. The life of a sailor.
By the time the sun had set, we were wasted. Traditional for our crew. We all headed below deck to get some sleep for the night. We had an early morning.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dammit. The cold pierces. Must stay awake.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We all awoke. Hungover and ready to start the day. I made a large pot of coffee for the crew and headed up to the deck to meet everyone. But, when I had arrived, I didn’t recognize the sea around me. We had forgotten to drop anchor last night. So, we all headed over and dropped it. Sunnuvabitch. I had no idea where we were, so my navigator and I went to the Captain’s room and began to scan the maps, looking out the portholes to try to recognize whatever landmarks we had approached through our telescopes. But, it was no good. We were lost. I had never been lost. Not knowing what to do, I retreated to my quarters to think. I savored the beef stew I had left. I drank some sweet rum. I smoked a few ounces of tobacco. Racking my brain.
There was a storm that night. One like I had never seen. It tossed us about and knocked our sails over. We were stuck until we could fix them. We were left. Cold and alone. Adrift in the open sea.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can’t quit coughing. The air is fighting its way into my lungs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This morning, we all awoke. Unsure of what the day would hold. Wherever we had drifted was impossibly cold, it seemed. We worked diligently at our sails. Noon came and we all stopped to eat and drink and smoke. Conferring over how soon we could finish our sails. Our deckhand had just told a side-splitter of a joke when the boat jarred us to the side and a loud crash entered my ears. My darling was hit. That damned lookout never showed and my darling was hit. Time seemed to slow down as my love began to unravel. I could see every splintering of her hull and every ripping of her blouse. I watched helplessly as a couple of our crew sank into the shards of her destruction. Another loud bang resounded in my ears and I whipped my head over just in time to see a cannonball strike my darling. We had wandered into pirate territory. I witnessed my first mate, my long time friend, crushed by the cannonball, but it moved me not nearly as much as the destruction of my ship.
A third cannonball launched in my direction. But this time, the noise was nonexistent and my only point of reference were my angry eyes leering at the ship approaching us. I felt the ground give way underneath me and throw me backwards. My lover was angry with my negligence and she saw fit to punish me accordingly. And as the boards propelled me, time slowed even further as I saw my wife weeping over an empty casket. Then, there was the cold… I awoke. Cold and alone. Adrift in the open sea.
The water was colder than the night was menacing. I turned and look to see the pirate ship retreating, having accomplished its mission. O, what a fool I was. I slept.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I awake. The wreckage of my darling is still strewn about me like the blocks of a decimated building. I weep. Where did I go wrong? I took every measure the same as usual. Yet, when it hit, my love was devoured and now I lay here on a shred of her blouse gazing at the night sky. The stars have fled from my eyes as if I’m not worthy of their beauty. A chill sweeps over me. I must stay awake.
The salt has taken on a new bitterness. I am chilled to the bone. The tears still linger. Frozen to my face. I can hardly breathe.
Dammit. The cold pierces. Must stay awake. I can’t quit coughing. The air is fighting its way into my lungs.
Each breath… Is a burden…
Can’t sleep…
But I’ve… Grown weary…
My love… Gone… Gone…
Forgive me… My love…
I sleep.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s