Monday, February 6, 2017


A friend and former shipmate of mine and I, both of us old pirates on the sea of life did not pass quietly as ships do sometimes in the night. We hove-to, dropped our sails and spent a few hours juxtaposed and adrift together. It was not smoke and mirrors, cannon blasts or fancy swordplay. It was genuine, problematic intimacy. She, the world navigator reported a tumult of miracles, bombings, and Beruit taxi rides. Always the positive. Always ahead of the games. On the way to care for grandbabies between world-wide gatherings armadas of small pleasure craft-lives into workshops in which she boards, and opens treasure chests of the heart in a therapeutic ransacking.
     There is a deranged proximity about us – and the others. Some were monks, are still monks, will always be monks out of the flow. They loving their logic.  We have left them in the monasteries while we freebooters cannot sit so still for so long. We think better beneath the flysheets dealing with the flow, the forces far bigger than ourselves, the gales, the currents, the tides, apparently still surviving. Desiring for the difficult, the unsettled, the potential exotic, the flesh. The vital words without logic. The rap of lives rhymed, and always very much alive, very much flowing, flowing.

Freedom. We serve no King nor flag except the tattered hearts and push the debate. There are hints of prostitution but only from those who see life as a debit-credit scheme. We are under the waterfall of life, pleased at all costs. Suspecting emotions. We are linguistically in disarray rubbing up against our apparent feelings. There are obvious conclusions.
     A glass of red wine. Two Margaritas. Grilled fish. A large bowl. And the stories, always the stories. The pitfalls. Blindsides. Near misses. We dissolve into tears. Touch as only old pirates of the heart will permit themselves to be touched by another. There is no myth of dominance. We plunge into desolation. Dive into the unfulfilled, never to be fulfilled, what were we thinking?  We short-circuit our best and most well-worn vanities. We imply old successes but tread on the deck of tragedy. And laugh. We laugh. We know we will not stay. Cannot stay. 

Piracy is not carried out in a monastic order. We are lonely. We turn our loneliness those destiny moments with others - fierce and mad enjambments. Crowd scenes where everyone but us is clothed in burkas where we only see their eyes and then comes their revelations of secret, childhood (teenage, adult, mid-life, elder) abuse they have held onto so tightly they have pressed into jewels. Their lives have been arranged around these jewels to protect them because, they would be adrift otherwise. The heart chests hold such awful jewels. And, pirates, well pirates help the agonized victims open their chests and look at the jewels of great value.
     Like an oozing, unasked snake that is fascinating and coils around us and between the piratess and I filled with venom and investment, is the question, “So, how are you, really?” with the drop into the abyss on the word “really.
     But, we don’t pry. We are shy. We know the awfulness we have in our chests and we presume the other has the same – probably worse. After all, she is older, walking the plank of age, disease, doubt, fear... or am I talking about myself again? Probably.
     That’s why we move. Move away from the coiling questions, which we give to others. We know the questions, we can shift the wind, the currents, the question. We don’t want to be faced with actually looking into what the other has in her heart. “Look at that, will ya?  What will I do about that fetid, stinking treasure I love so much?”
     Awful jewels are what people keep in their chests. Better not hurt one another. Another day. Maybe a mooring in the future. The note with the black dot. Treasure Island?

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
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