Last Friday, the sun was shining like it is almost summer. After the morning fog was covering the world with his coat and at half past nine it all cleared away, the blue skies and a mild burning sun appeared. And that remains throughout the day. And while the temperatures can rise to nearly 20 degrees. I am having the day off, so it is all very good. I have plunged myself in full force in a new hobby project and I have been busy sanding some panels. Our young dog is playing in the garden and tries to get my attention with occasional mischief. I enjoy the sun on my pale skin and think that life can be so beautiful and if it would be financial possible, I would only occasionally work for a few days.
Full stop is not needed, but it would be nice if you could organize your own time, for example, only the winter period to do some work. But that will only be a dream, I am afraid. So enjoy all of the few precious moments I have. After a few hours I make a cup of tea for me and my wife and we chat a bit about the daily stuff and I am going outside for an other hour and then we're going to do a little shopping in a local supermarket.
I miss the days when I was at sea and feel that there is a change of weather coming. That's something you read in the sky and feel the slowly becoming colder air around you. It's pretty soft spring weather but I do not think it will remain. After dinner we watch some television and every half an hour my head is nodding and my eyes are closed. Tired but satisfied we crawl under the covers and I have to go to work in the morning and then again tomorrow afternoon I will go on with my hobby project.
But when I step through the front door of our house the next morning it is pouring rain. Spring has clearly ceased it's introduction today. A drizzling rain seeps this morning in a gray suited sky. At such a gray day, I'll grab everything to make myself feel better. Travel to the South. The South: leave this swampy land, if possible, I would flee. But unfortunately, I can't because we are financial unable to pay for this kind of debauchery.
At moments like this I miss the time I did spontaneous actions together with my wife and we woke up drunk in a strange world of pleasure stung with the first sun rays on our naked bodies. When I walk the dog during the afternoon in this rainy weather, on the field on the way home. I am walking slowly and in my thoughts I'll see a man that looks like an old sailor It is a gray-haired man with a weathered face, a beard and a body that has been build by hard labour. In my mind I named him immediately. "The Old Sailor" And as I would soon discover: there I was not far wrong. "If I were you, I'd better get home, there's coming a decent bit of rain," he said when he saw me. He just had the words out, it started raining again. "Come, I live around here," he invited me. I hesitated. Finally, I knew him, but on the other hand he was a stranger that I just met. But he seemed to have no mischief and did not want to harm me, so I took his invitation.
Once in his house I got the feeling of being in a museum. Hung everywhere and all around me there were the most exotic objects. Our dog, sniffed curiously around. The old man seemed to find it all okay. He made a cup of tea for me and soon we were both sitting down, he began to tell about his life. He had sailed a large part of his life, but had to go ashore when his health deteriorated. He looked sad. "For me, no sailors funeral and a watery grave ..." he said softly. I felt sorry for him, but did not know how to comfort him.
So I pointed hesitantly at a small statue that stood nearby and asked where it came from. That was a good hunch: the face of the man brightened, and he began to tell. It already stopped raining when he finished his story. For me it's time to go home. 'Please come along, "he said when I left the house. I would definitely do. The old man was a fascinating storyteller and behind the other objects in the house were trapped many more stories. Further, he didn't see anyone else at all. In his existence had never been a place for family, friends and all that he had met, The ones he knew were sailors.
In the days and weeks that followed, it became a ritual: walking the dog, ring the bell at the old man, and once we were seated I would designate an object to the tea. Then the Captain was (as I now called him Captain) an hour or more on his soapbox. When I come home and slide in my chair behind a cup of coffee, I think what a strange sensation I have met myself but older. A future that is uncertain but not far from the truth. I have more of these kind of imaginings and then I dream away about times long gone or something else it is vague. Like this story now I can not quite explain.
Numb I sit at the table and my wife asks what is wrong with you, are you okay? I nod, and fight my tears. The next morning I wake up with a strange feeling as if "the Captain" that night has died in his sleep.
I'm ready for a little boat, I think and search on the Internet and find a particular boat. In the port arrived I almost fell off the scaffolding of laughter. The boat that belonged to the ad I knew very well. Regularly I had told people around me joked that that thing I would have for peanuts from his owner. I would take the ugly duckling from his hands, to give it a much needed face lift. And if it was meant to be, it was now mine. For a moment I had the idea that "the Captain" gave me a wink from above.
I had no clue at all of maintaining a boat or how to fix an engine. So I had the little boat thoroughly inspected by someone who had the knowledge and had a look at. Of the money I had saved up for this kind of project, I bought all the necessary stuff. I hit the chores: I sawed, hammered and painted, and had the time of my life. The other occupants of the port came curiously watching what I was doing. Some pointed meaningfully to their foreheads. Others gave me advice on how I could build and fix things they had obviously had the biggest fun about the hideous boat and that strange bird belonged to it. But that did not bother me and I enjoyed everything I did very much.
Once I was sure the boat would stay afloat, I got my license for sailing a boat. Now I brought a sleeping bag and some other stuff on board and proud I started the engine. Together with my wife, I went on board, and I headed for the coast. My boat was obviously not meant to travel at sea, but I ventured a short distance offshore.
My heart was beating like a buzzing beehive and the sailor in me woke up as i was struck by lightning. The sun danced in the air. I peered through my binoculars and saw the coastline gradually disappear The serenity of the open sea brought me back to the moments I have known from the time that I sailed around around our planet. I watched around me as we disappeared on the horizon and were rolling on the waves. The Captain was back home?
I turned the boat around and sailed slowly back in the direction where we came from.
When I get closer to the port I all of a sudden wake up from my dreams, I realize that I've been sitting here behind the computer daydreaming and all of this again has been coming up in that silly brain of mine. Yet these are the happiest and finest thoughts I have and they are often around the corner if the weather is bad and the world is gray. It's a beautiful world in my dreams.
The Old Sailor,