Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Example of How It Happens

the familiar smells were there:
the oily vapors from the pier's diesel tank and
the perfume of bait fish, already half-dead, waiting to kiss the barbed end of a salt water jig hook.
he pushed the dock gate open with his free hand; an arthritic groan echoing in the morning fog.

she watched  him from the bait shack.  he had a nylon bag in one hand;
the other arm swinging in rhythm with his legs as he walked the swaying dock. 

he was scanning the sky.  probably calculating water channels and hoping the wind will keep, she thought.  his feet, housed in slip-resistant shoes barely  noticed the knotted wood, inches above the marina's water, still wet from the night's moisture.  every day is a good day for leaving, he thought.

he undressed the boat like a haggard husband getting ready for bed.  he was methodical and practiced.  he folded the mainsail cover like he would a fitted sheet.
the sun, high enough now to eat the fog, revealed familiar clouds in a marinade of sky. 

the sails unfurled, the moor lines lifted; he raised his head,
pushing his glasses back in place.
he saw her then watering a sunrise of geraniums.
she saw him looking.  she smiled.
his hand, reaching for the rudder handle, slipped.

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