Thursday, October 9, 2008

The lines in my hand don't go anywhere.


At the end of the dock road there is a vast horizon of flat sea with an overbearing sky lying prone above it with a sexlessness that confounds me. There is no penetration; it's just the sky above and the sea below, pressed against one another without thought, and it goes on forever in either direction. I look out there and wonder about a couple of things that have lately been weighing heavy on my mind. There's not been work for the past three days since our crew finished early up. The faster and the better you get at things, the money's still the same, so you end up with more free time than you know what to do with.

But I don't get bored. There is too much to look at in this town. Next to the motel there's a graveyard. It's not very expansive, but I felt it would have been rather easy to become lost in the people buried out there if I'd taken the time to read each of their headstones and then really took a moment to think of what it was like when these people were still alive. Some of them I judged by their weak names, while others' names I held in regard for how they rolled off my tongue with a sort of dignity that I didn't enjoy myself when sounding out my own name. I wondered how many of these people I'd not have gotten along too well with, and too, which ones were better than me, or had been anyway. Which of those I might have actually looked up to, admired or even shared of life of friendship with.

By their epitaphs alone to go by, it was impossible to deduct which of these buried sort had grown up minor criminals, or minor peacemakers or unforgivable fuck-ups or unaccountable fuck-ups or humorous, gentle and reliable people. In death they always died too soon, yet gave so much while they were around.

On the other side of the motel was the sea.

I took a mile walk up the coast and down the dock road to where the furthest you can get to sea is paved outward in beams and boards and I nearly lost my balance a few times because the open space was like nothing I had ever experienced back home. The world is so much larger than the town I grew up in. It stretches out into the abyss, like this sea does.

At the very end of the dock I sit at the edge of the wooden rails and hang my legs out over the waves, which are too far below me to touch. People die all the time out there. They sink to the bottom like whales do. Or they float back ashore like whales do, sometimes. I don't know, it's a big place out there. Trying to take it all in without moving my eyes along the horizon from left to right is nearly impossible. I can't even begin to conceive its true volume as a whole from the edge of this little dock, which if cast into the waves would be like a fraction of a splinter stuck into to the skin of the sea.

It's just water, though. I know that. The edge of the world too, maybe. I could drown out there if I started swimming straight out.


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