He sits beside me, a man I respect very much, and asks me how it is going. Okay I say, and then we start to talk about relationships. Later as I sit crying as Rose is torn from her doctor, saying her last good bye to a mirage on the seashore, I think of our conversation.
I picture myself on that grey, windblown, threatening to rain shore, looking out to sea, a widow, still standing on her walk.
I know exactly how Rose feels. She and I both know we will never see that ship at sail again.
Still, sometimes, I scan the horizon for the sure sign, the flag flapping, and yet, I know it is sunk far below the deepest cresting waves, far beyond what I could see with even a spyglass.
I have a sea worthy vessel, this I know as I climb into his bed, he who is not cuddly or affectionate, really, wrapping his arms around me, kissing me, intertwining his feet with mine, I can feel the love coming from him, though the words are rare.
I tell my friend, the ship builder, that I know I am loved. You can love the person, he says to me, but not love the way they behave. That is it, I say, I get that. In the end he says, you make that commitment, and as a MAN, he emphasizes, you KEEP it, UNLESS, there is some kind of abuse happening. I tell him, no matter what, no matter what is said between us, I absolutely never feel a threat to my person. He tells me of her anger, and how it concerns him, but that he knows, that is something she has to work through, and it will be easier for HER if he is there for her.
We have been having these discussions now for all of five years. He the one who told me back when my skin was flayed, and my pain like an anchor, that whomever left me, had lost SOMETHING, something special.
Our decisions, he says, define us, the choices we make, make up the foundation of our lives.
In my mind’s eye I stand beside Rose, on that Norwegian beach, I lay in bed beside the woman in Six Feet Under, as she dies alone in her bed, surrounded by her art. I stand beside the sea captain’s widow, on her walk, I catch a ride on the ship of a pirate, though the work on this deck is not always easy, the ship is sea worthy, but sometimes, I take the duty of sitting the Crow’s Nest, waiting for a ship, to rise from the deep.
Though, if it did, I would die from the anguish.