*
I can breathe because I have a small refuge from the world. My wife and I have built this craft that carries us on the waters. Sometimes we raise the sails and the sun shines and the wind fills the sails and we drink wine and laugh and squint into the abundant sunshine and sometimes the wind fails us and the sky grows featureless and the waters still and I man the oars and sweat and heave and haul until my hands blister and bleed and my back aches and I collapse and then she mans the oars until her hands blister and bleed while I sleep or whimper or just stare out to sea. We get storms and hard weather. We see mirages. The food spoils. Hull springs a leak and we spend days and nights bailing. We drift off course.
But we don’t abandon ship.
We paint her and decorate her, we bring her gifts. We tinker with her engine, we keep the fuel cans clean and full. We ask everything of her and we withhold nothing from her. When we get to port we haul her out and scrape her clean before we take our own showers, before we run into the dark jungle for more mangos.
We bind ourselves yet tighter. Sinew, bone, and blood.
***
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