- S: What do you wish for? Asked the ferryman.
- T: A proper goodbye
- S: There is no such thing, goodbyes are essentially chaotic, even the quiet ones.
- T: Then I wish I had no need for wishes.
- S: Child, why are you so possessed with the idea of death?
- T: I don’t know but I’ve been told, often, that I’m an old soul, so maybe that’s why.
There was a quiet moment, followed by him turning away and heading towards the edge, where he sat down, looking up with his feet dangling off deck.
- S: Have a seat, he said, it helps.
- T: I’d rather stand.
- S: That’s your problem amigo, you’re too tense, all swallowed up in your little bubble. I don’t know much about old souls but one thing I’m sure of is that they’re always young.
- T: And I’m guessing a young old soul would probably sit with you right now?
- S: You’re at it again…
- T: There, I sat down. Happy?
- S: Makes no difference to me, I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to…
- T: For God’s sake man, you’re starting to sound like my girlfriend
- S: Hahaha, that’s a good one… finally a sense of humor.
- T: Yeah, that’s about all there is.
- S: Nah, I just have to get on your nerves a little bit more and you’ll be up and running. Which is not so hard to do by the way.
- T: The price of being honest and straightforward.
- S: Do you really believe that?
- T: I did till the second you asked me about it. But I’m not so sure anymore.
- S: Good, you’re starting to loosen up, I told you sitting down would help.
- T: Nah, it’s just the sea sickness… how can you take it, this constant coming and going, the smells, the nausea, all this shit.
The sailor reaches into his shirt’s pocket, pulls out a cigarette, lights it up and puts the box back in his pocket. He stretches out his hand and brings them back behind his head as he lies down, face to the stars and with a long sigh kicks it off again:
- S: I’ve taken many blows… but one still haunts me to this day, is the day she was gone.
- T: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stir up that kind of memories.
- S: I know you didn’t and believe me you didn’t, but losing someone you love that’s the kind that’s always there.
- T: I can imagine. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how’d she die?
- S: Didn’t I tell you that you were obsessed?
She didn’t, I did. She said It was like I had died a long time ago and that’s why she was leaving. She may be right, I don’t know. – said the old man while scratching his forehead with his thumb while holding the cigarette between his index and middle finger- But she sure as hell killed off whatever I had still living inside me that day.
- T: Wait, so she’s not gone yet?? I mean you can still find her, get her back.
- S: There’s no such thing as getting them back, once they’re gone… they’re gone even if they come back. Something disappears, the vividness of it all. And every time you’ll meet afterwards, you’ll know…
- T: That it’s not there anymore?
- S: That death is the mercy of the gods. Think of it, death it’s just paper work, company policy, and office procedures, garbage like that.
- T: So you’re not afraid?
- S: I never said that… Departures… that’s what scares me.
- T: But you’re a sailor, I mean you’re always leaving…
- S: It doesn’t matter because apparently you can leave even though you’re still there with a person and I know for a fact that she left when I thought she’d never will. – Takes a sip, swallows all the toxic inside and then lets out a cloud of smoke followed by an attempt to clear his throat – Stayed romantically hopeful at first. “Home is where the heart is” I thought, so even if she wasn’t there, I still was. Coming back home – the old man continues with a sarcastic ironic tone- that’ll keep you going for years, and it did… – He stares blankly at the view in front of him as if looking at something that wasn’t there then suddenly coming back – Until I saw her again of course. I had always thought about that moment. I had hoped for teary eyes, trembling lips, nervous hands, confusion, embarrassment, something, anything… Nothing, completely mediocre, and that’s when I knew… I was a damn refugee and those people belong at sea. Since then I’ve been waiting to wind up on some shore. So you see kid, the coming and going, the smells, the nausea, death, these are things I’m always expecting and so far all of them have not disappointed, except one. Want to guess?
Eddy Abi Younes