Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A ship, a fever dream

I had my own ship that could float across the water. It was my galleon of fortune, my caravel of luck with which I levitated above the crystalline lagoons, the dull brackwaters, the jagged inlets and the rack and tumble of storms.

I was the captain of the world, and I tucked its treasures in my pocket, letting the seams bulge with the weight.

When I came upon a port to unload my treasure, the stevedores sniggered at me. They were dressed strangely – their caps full of butterfly wings, their coats the concatenation of chrysalis shells.

“Why are you laughing?” I said.

“For change and hardship! For hardship and change!”

I shouted at them, “Don’t you know who I am? Have you not seen my exploits? I who have conquered the seas with my ship that floats high above the world? I do not fear anything. I do not fear death.”

And they howled at me, abusing me with derision saying, “Oh, you’ve conquered death? But that’s the easy part. It’s life that will change you. It’s life that will kill you. Do you not fear that? You who float above it all. Bring your ship down!”

Haughtily I brought my ship to the ocean and felt it sink in the waves. The wooden planks creaked with the weight of the world. My pockets burst at the seams, and I flung my arms forward to catch the treasures that came spilling down, suddenly losing their luster, looking worthless.

I looked at my arms then. I looked at my own body, strangely gnarled with growths, the lichens of age feasting on my skin. I’d been floating for so long I was unaware of them. I had the thought that maybe I’d missed everything, that my life hadn’t changed enough, and I gasped.

As I did, butterflies seemed to burst out from the cargo holds. I didn’t know that they were even there.

posted by ferret at 3:50 pm  

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