Bent Words

Bent Words

August 24, 2010

After nearly three hour's work of cleaning the boat inside out -- rigorously swabbing the deck and carefully polishing the cannon balls -- I needed a rest.

And a beer.

I reposed on the deck with Miss Marple and a Corona. My feet up, the sweat slowly dissipating, my attention taken. That "dithering old woman" kept me company quite satisfactorily and I wondered what one needed more than this. A blue sky unmarred, the scent of the water wafting through the air, the leaves shhhhhhing in the trees.

We had a accomplished a great task. Cleaning the boat inside and out -- even shampooing the carpeting. Two and a half hours or more. I felt I deserved that moment of quiet bliss. That undisturbed passing of page after page coupled with an occasional sip of cerveza.

So would it be that right next to me, at that very moment, the sound of your voice filled my senses.

You steamrolled my calm like a hurricane.

How suddenly that side of the lake came alive.

I didn't even realize I had my hand on my chest, as though it would alleviate the thunder, until you were a mere few yards away.

"Oh my! Calm down," I said to myself. "How far is that really? In feet -- maybe sixty? In yards -- maybe... I don't know! I suck at math! Fuck math. That's why God invented calculators. A stone's throw, for sure. That's how far away he is. The man in the red shirt. If today were a 'good aim day' I could hit him."

I didn't even bother to pretend I was reading. Concentrating on something else entirely. As I would normally do. I barely thought twice about averting my eyes. No, instead I blatantly watched you and waited. Every step. Every swing of the arm. I waited until you were perfectly parallel with my heartbeat. I waited for you to turn. Just a slight movement to your right, a glance over your shoulder, a blink through the trees. And I whispered, "Look this way. Just once. That's all I need," as you passed carefully back into your house.

That's when I got up.

I stood at the door in the porch so I could face your direction full on. I did not move, I did not falter, I did not back away. My mother announced, "Fifteen minutes until boat time!" and still I did not move. I waited for you to come back out again.

Patiently. I wait for you. Wait for you, wait for you. Oh so patiently.

But you did not look my way. Not once. Not barely. Not even a little.

I walked back outside, watched you make your way to the water. I watched you sail away, taking the wheel. Away from me.

I finally turned my attention to the boat cooler. Filled the bag with pretzels and cashews. Suntan lotion. Towels.

And wouldn't you know it. You can never get too far, find enough time in between. We passed you on our way to our 'usual spot' in front of the Darth Vader house. Depth, thirty-five feet. One minute past the anchor being deployed and I took a running dive into the water. My father repeatedly requesting I "make another go" so as to garner a photo. Every time I rose from the water, I looked 'round for you.

I don't know exactly how far away you were. Thirty yards? Certainly beyond a stone's throw. But I could still see you. And judging from the brevity of your stay, I'm sure ya'll could see me.

Part of me felt terrible for inadvertently interfering. Another part of me was just elated to feel as though you're never so very far away.

Close yet far
Drop me a line and tell me how the hell you are
And I'll tip my hat to those who can't believe it's me
Though I never never never ever wanted this to be

Written at 8:39 p.m.