9 Feb 2010 6:30 AM Marsa Harbor, Malta, Earth
I dumped the spent grounds into the harbor. Fresh pot on the stove. You’ve got to unplug one thing to plug in another on this ship. I ground the beans in the dark.
The harbor’s especially still and quiet this morning. About as peaceful as a place surrounded by cranes and smokestacks can be. Soon enough the workers will change all that.
For some reason the church bells are at their most intricate and melodious at 6:15 every morning. Through the darkness, across the water, I imagine a giant sitting cross-legged in front of a wall of bronze cymbals, flicking them perfectly with the tops of his knobbled fingers.
Once the sun has beat down for an hour or two I’ll be sanding and varnishing the bowsprit and capping rail of this old boat.
Somewhere in that old hull of my heart I always knew I’d end up on a boat. I kept that knowing in the same part of the bilge where all my dreams are stowed away. I’m fairly certain there’s a trumpet in there, along with a few books, a jar of honey, and a shovel for digging up clams. And that great, big, waltzing sea has always been there as well.
Now I find myself drinking coffee out of a steel mug on a softly rocking harbor. My bedroom windows are two portholes and I sleep just below the waterline. I’ve got a beard because there’s no mirror to shave by and I’m wearing a big coat cause it’s the middle of winter. Just out the galley window I can see all of the cables, rope, and turnbuckles for the masts. The standing rigging is all that I know and the running rigging is all I’m searching for. You need both to sail.
I was searching for something when I came across that forgotten hatch, and when I opened it up the sea poured out, and now, with the coffee almost finished, the sky turning blue, the voices of the workers coming closer, I can say for certain that here sits a salty, almost-sailor who is waltzing with a dream.