So I was passengering in a jeep. The dawn was coming, and I was late. Not really late, but enough to feel rushed and a tad upset by just about everything. Then the driver took a wrong turn.
The driver stayed his own chosen course and only smiled at my protesting. I think maybe I worked for him, and he didn’t care about our tardiness. One cannot be late for themselves.
So we got to the beach. Daylight creeping up behind us overland. The night receded away over the sea. West. Why is it always west?
My driver gave me my pack and we walked over the dunes, around the bend. Salt air breeze cooled my nostrils. There is a taste to sea air at dawn that is all it’s own. A small catamaran sat bobbing half on the sand. Onto it I was pushed, and off to water I went. I yelled about this or that, and realized that with this boat, and being pushed off….whatever else I was about to do that day seemed really…unnecessary. I let go, or was blown about until I took hold of the sail. It caught wind. I was sailing, and the land faded. I moved about the small boat and watched the land fall away behind me.
I got scared. Real scared. Then I realized that there was nothing near to hurt me. No reason for fear. I sailed on, and fell asleep under a sky that was bright with moon.
I awoke wet, laughing because my feet had swung over the side and drug through the water for at least a little bit of time. I checked my laptop for directions (maybe that was sign one of a dream? but I felt fine about it, as it was wrapped in a towel!)
I was on course to some islands. It was warm, and another boat came by. A small man in a large canoe. He was headed the other way, back toward land. He said there was too much traffic ahead to make it.
He was not lying. I dodged many ships and freighters and sailboats and some folks swimming that wanted onto my craft. I dodged and bumped for hours, trying to move this way and that while keeping air in sail, my boat out from under another boat. There were whales. The sea got big. I bled from tired hands and my back felt near bursting.
Some time passed. Days? I was pulling my little boat onto the white sand of somewhere in-between land. It was dark, the stars bright. Torches led me to a set of houses connected by boardwalks. There was music and warmth and an auction or perhaps an art opening. People wore fancy clothes, and mine were covered in wet salt, my entire self unkempt. I bid on a basket of chocolate, dropping my name into a jar.
A man offered me a smoke, which I denied because I had to sail on, and cravings on a boat are the worst (apparently).
We walked together. He told me he admired what I was doing. That if I made it this far, maybe I could make it the rest of the way. He asked what I used to do. I didn’t answer, I didn’t know the answer. Then with a smile, he said “You may die out there, alone”
And I woke up, not unhappy about that.