The Old Man and the Sea and Kyle

17 Apr

I hold tightly to the big pole thing in the middle of the boat. The waves are rocking the boat back and forth and back again then forth one more time. So typical.

“Typical ocean,” I say. The leathery, stoic captain of the vessel I stood aboard turns and glares at me.

“Tell me, fairy,” (He calls me “fairy” because I bring sweet, innocent magic into his life. He also thinks I’m homosexual.) “What do ye mean when ye say ‘typical ocean’? Because in my experience, there is no such thing as typical ocean.”

“Well, my dear captain,” I say, looking dreamy-eyed into the water or whatever, “The blue mushy mistress is tossing our tiny bread chunk throughout the wild blue squish.”

There’s six or seven seconds of crushing silence.

“What the fuck are you talking about, boy?”

“Nothing,” I say. Then, quieter: “Merely dreams.”

The captain looks at me with the same beleaguered expression, his mouth slightly open, one eye closed against the northern wind. His face looked as if it had been carved out of stone. It showed the cracks of old age and a life at sea.

“Why don’t you unclench the jib sheet, boy,” the old man says.

“I love your old-timey expressions,” I say, smiling. I have no idea what he’s talking about. The man looks at me again, sighs, and unclenches the jib sheet, which is the smaller sail opposite the main sail. We begin to slow.

“Ease the main sail, fairy. We’re going to stop here.”

I walk to the main sail. It’s a web of ropes and pulleys and various other mechanisms. A few ounces of vomit creep into my mouth. I swallow three-quarters of the vomit and leave one-quarter to keep myself humble. Okay, Kyle, I think. The old man’s lookin’ to you for this. Time to make him stop regretting his decision not to shoot you as soon as we reached open waters. I pull at one of the ropes. It doesn’t budge. I look out into the vast ocean–pleading for her help. Oh great Wet Lady, please help me and my old friend catch so many fish  today–we’re just borrowing them. We’ll bring them back. I knew this was a lie. We were going to turn those fish into jelly. I beg you, Wet Lady. Put your big ol’ wetness all over me and help me untie this sail. I was now working hard to hide the boner that had formed in my board shorts. I should have worn my cargo pants.

“Boy! Slow the boat! Ease the sail!” the old man commands from the front of the boat. He doesn’t look up to see my fear, though. He’s too busy loosening the nets for the day’s catch.

“Yes sir!” I reply, terrified. I desperately need to stop this boat. I need to make the old man proud. Seeing that I have roughly the same chance of figuring out how to manage the sail mechanism as I do understanding what was so damn great about The Hurt Locker, I decide drastic measures need to be taken. I lift a sheathed scaling knife from the floor of the boat. I remove it from its sheath and begin slashing great holes in the sail. The wind begins to pass through each successive hole until the sail is pretty much useless. The boat slows to a stop.

“There you go, lad,” the old man says, tossing the nets over the side of the boat. “Now, we can–” he turns, and the sight of the shredded sail stops his voice in its tracks. He looks at the landless horizon surrounding us. There is not a boat to be seen. There is no communication device on the boat. “Well, now we’re fucked,” he says.

And indeed we were fucked.

The End.

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