Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Letter Home

K- ,

It stopped snowing last night Dear. Its been coming down for so long I’ve forgotten what the sea looks like. Up here it clumps together and gets swirled around so quickly in the restless, salty wind that in the day all is illuminated by a bright eeriness and at night the streetlight by the pier is only recognized by its ghostly halo.

It’s been three weeks and the men have been getting restless. The captain has been telling us its going to pass, that we’ll be back on the water soon, but the waiting has not been kind. These men Dear, these men don’t like to wait. They’re like sharks, they can’t stop moving or they’ll die. On the water there is just too much work to be done, but here, waiting, they circle and circle. Most have taken to drink. You can hear them, smell them at all hours, stumbling in and out of our quarters, with a burst of artic air. During meals you can hear the bawdy tales of these men, you can see the bruising, the dried blood, and you know that we’ve got to be getting out of here soon. So far we’ve lost three men to the storm. Two in jail for fighting, and one in the hospital. Our crew is down to twenty-six. Still seaworthy, but just barely.

But now that the storm has begun to settle, Captain says it’s only a matter of hours until the sea has quelled enough to push off. Only a matter of hours…

I know that I haven’t been in contact much since I left, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten you or our son Colin, for the little that it’s worth. I’m not going to revisit the reasons why, I’ve written of them in the past. More I wanted to let you know that I think of you. Out at sea, weary from the bobbing, broken nights and wet, blustery days. The desperation between catches weighs heavily as the hours drift from breaker to breaker and I remember you, my distant family.

These thoughts are only broken by the first cries of a fresh catch and the sudden flood of strength. Fighting on the ropes with the other men, pulling in our prey, resisting the icy waves crashing over the deck. It’s in that struggle, out there on that deck with those men, those strange animals, when I also remember what it is that I left. And it’s then Dear, that I know that I’ve awakened from that dream.

Soon, very soon we will set sail again and we will begin a new fight. Before I depart I wanted to write this letter home, to you and to Colin, and tell you how sorry I am. Sorry that I left, but even more sorry Dear, that I will never be coming home. Please know that I love you, I love you both.

With you always,
N-

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