In Uncategorized on February 9, 2005 at 6:01 pm

there are always sirens

she invited me to join her at “the good life.” needless to say, her invitation was attractive.

at the time i was drowning in the sea of abstraction and she offered the beautiful solace of particulars. while i spent my solitary days parsing greek, she spread her impressions across a canvas. by night i punched buttons and received lonely visions from God while she slung drinks and charmed sailors out of their change. she was the bathing beauty for whom a king abdicated responsibility. and she was singing me to shipwreck.

so when she offered me “the good life” i wanted to accept. but, after inquiring about the destination and plotting the course, had my mate secure me to the mast. though “the good life” promised respite from the sea of abstraction, i suspected that it would be my death.

after the night of our scheduled rendezvous passed, i spent the next day in the lower galley. instead of reveling in “the good life” of grog and good friends, i found myself sweeping up rat shit in the company of strangers. i cursed myself under my breath, knowing full well that the previous night i had sailed past solace only to find myself in this sickening circumstance. i suspected that this work in the hold would make me sick for weeks. as it turned out, i wasn’t far from wrong.

when my arms tired of bailing and the stench of feces made it damn near impossible to breathe, i retreated to the deck, where i could get a draught of fresh air and perhaps roll a smoke. after i sat on the deck and rolled my cigarette, i glanced across the inlet…and couldn’t believe my eyes. there, a mere 5 fathoms away, was “the good life.” though her docks were closed and lights dim, she had not lost her allure. she promised a life lubricated by fine ale, focused on an exotic woman and mercifully free from abstraction. yet, in that moment, i realized that my life was not waiting across the inlet, but down in the galley. so it was to the galley that i returned.

though the work down here is hard and the galley still smells like shit, the company of strangers have become mates and, though at times i find it hard to believe, life in the galley is good.


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