She has been here before. Tender back of the leg skin skin scraping against weathered-to-silver rough wooden edges. She is sitting on the dock, sizing up, as she has done countless times, the logistics of allowing gravity to pull the weight of her body down the odd three foot or so, into the embrace of the waiting row boat. (Painted black, by chance, and graced, on either side of the bow, with a stenciled skull and cross bones.)
Courage, always hale and hearty when first she sits, is starting to fade. As will soon the light, in mere hours. Once again she wonders why she is unable to simply take the plunge, and once again in response, her mind prepares a list. What if she loses her balance when the boat inevitably rocks upon receiving her, and she falls overboard? What if she is unable to competently row the boat, and horror of horrors she drifts under the dock-and how on earth is she supposed to hoist herself back up on said dock anyway?
Like every other time before this, she can choose to opt out. Tell herself that perhaps tomorrow she will be brave enough. Yet in what is perilously close to becoming another overplayed moment of resigned defeat, her heart ices with a cold sense of the truth. Nothing will change in her between now and tomorrow.
The dock seems to be pressing a sense of this cannot wait any longer urgency into her legs. A micro second of hang time before her canvas sneakered feet hit the floor of the boat, and while her arms wave wildly about trying to recapture her balance as the boat pitches and rolls in aftershock, she is none the worse for wear. Steadied, she laughs at the last few seconds spectacle of herself, parks herself on the narrow seat that spans the interior width of the craft, and tipsy with her first sweet taste of victory, sets the oars into the oarlocks and begins, in her own fashion, to row toward the distant shore.