The memory of ice is not yet distant enough, and even now, doubt and fear sit too close for comfort. Cold skeletons brittling your ear with low-voiced disquiet.
Once, it’s true, you assumed you were ice-bound beyond recall. But you were wrong. The ice was broken in the way that life, out of the blue, can gift a brighter side.
So in spite of the skeletons, that is what you choose to remember. And faith burns, rendering them powerless.
He is shaking his head in disgust, not able, even, to manage the simplest Arrg. His crew is a disgrace. An embarrassment. A week in port concluded, he’d planned this dawn to sail, seeking ships to pillage and plunder.
One week in port. Meant to re-provision the Gold Slave. Allow the men to tidy themselves up a bit and pursue their choice of comfort. Who then, he wondered, was responsible for turning his gang of disreputable sailors into a laughingstock?
The likely culprit comes to mind. A certain wench, belonging to most recently recruited scallywag, Lazyjax Wallace. Pleasant enough lass, but over abundant in her concern as to the diet, exercise and grooming habits of the men while away at sea. And so she’d sent with her pirate, from home, a container of some sort of special soap.
Look at them, he thinks to himself with contempt. Attired in snowy white shirts which smell of spring, none of them wishing to get dirty, his men preferring instead to comb their beards and polish the silver buckles on their tall black boots.
does EXACTLY what it says on the tin
She’d fountain penned the instructions up Lazyjax’s arm, though not one among the formerly mangy lot of them could read.
Here is the quote
Does exactly what it says on the tin
Come have a drink, he says.
A bit suggestively, if you ask me.
I don’t know what he’s thinking.
We’ve been stranded at sea for days.
And he is not at all who I imagined.
His name was Ron, and he was a mean mouthy jerk until I got to know him my junior year. And I realized that underneath all that bravado was a scared twenty year old who was never going to walk again, let alone drive the car that was as totaled as he was. When he asked me one day if I’d sew him a Hawaiian shirt out of the wildly colored hibiscus rayon he’d had his mother get for him, I said I would. He was emphatic, though, that the falseness of his tough exterior should remain our little secret.
I don’t want any whole flowers on it!
I linger, in rainy dusk, near a surviving Scentimental rose, fragrance of long gone front porch afternoons mixed with petrichor and wounded soil. The naked patch of earth in front of me looks small.
I recognized, underneath your pragmatic excuses for demolishing our childhood home, a score settled. That behind the camouflage of too old and too run down, a smoldering resentment that I was somehow the favored one.
And so, when it came to deciding the fate of the house that had cradled our family, you had eyes the color of jealousy. So different from my eyes of brown.
Grow old with me.
My fitful sleep. No sooner enthralled by ocean dreams, than my spilled into the night daylight angst begins to ebb with salt water’s solicitation-forged in the lifetimes of patience and courage it has witnessed. And fear is washed away. Impermanent as writing on wave kissed sand. Abiding sea. Ancient companion on my continuing voyage. Fortune in my dreams. Fortune in my heart.
The best is yet to be.
This piece was inspired by a prompt over at:
If somehow, in those never witnessed darkest hours.
Hours of crumbling.
You’d glimpse yourself, utterly consumed by sorrow.
Your face, broken into a thousand pieces,
Would break your heart into a thousand more.