A Life At Sea

Here I lie, waving the Jolly Roger from my lounge chair with my sights set on the horizon. It’s the Friday of my life; I wonder what I’ll do this weekend.

My childhood went by like a busy week, with all my time spent floating through school and chores, expecting each year to either overtake me or push me in a new direction. Countless nights I stayed up late, swapping tall tales and deep thoughts with those I held dear and often with strangers who are still strange to me now. The tide rushed in, emotions ran high, and life was never ending. But alas, the tide always fell away, erasing all of my footprints from the sand and leaving no trace that I ever had my feet on solid ground.

Mutiny arose, albeit too late; my captain—oh, my foolish captain—had already steered me into the inevitable. I rebelled against the responsibilities, against the expectations, and yes, even against a promising future. It was so much easier to plunder my past and celebrate my failures. Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of esteem…an empty bottle I often tipped up in the hopes that perhaps I had missed a drop. Who was I kidding? It was all for show. I never drank anyway.

My ship sailed into adulthood on waves of hope and fear and crashed almost laughably against the immovable reef of reality. That seemingly delicate structure stood in beautiful contrast to the wrack of my life, my splintered dreams and fantasies sinking into oblivion to join the reef’s foundation and strengthen it further. How clever, I thought as I brushed off the sand from my bleeding knees. I vowed to learn from my mistakes, to grow as the reef did, and to build myself up from my own self-imposed opposition.

It had been a very busy week, indeed.

I’m relaxing now, as many are on a Friday afternoon, with the hard work on hold and the infinite possibilities of the weekend sprawled out before me. Yet, my time is limited. Death awaits me like a job on Monday and I want so bad to quit. I wouldn’t dread a flourishing career, but the future is unknown and my mind envisions an eternity in retail. It’s far easier to fear the worst than to hope for the best.

The sea calls to me, but I hesitate at the memory of my week-long ruination. At least the waves had highs to accompany their lows.

No. I belong on the shore.

Here I lie, because the truth is too much like reality. I’ll rebuild my ship from the wicker straps of my chair, and the Jolly Roger will announce my final failure to the reef. I’ll keep the horizon in my sights and aim high, and when the tide comes in, I’ll lift my bottle once more and enjoy the weekend as if it was my last.

Maybe this time, when the tide falls away, my footprints will remain in the sand and the world will know I was here, with a full bottle and a seafaring heart.

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