I sail smoothly over the sea of your affections, your laughter the calm waves that gently rock my boat providing rhythm for this journey. I am the boatman and all I know is the general direction we both want to sail in- forward. I do not know what nautical miles are, nor do I know North- east by east.
The feeling I get is of not wanting to dock, of sailing until night covers day. And since I want to be here until that time, since I love this rush of blood to my head, since I cannot think of an end to this ethereal laughter, I tell you how I like to lie when night falls. I tell you how much I love your sea, but that because of the insects in the air, I like to lie, face-down, alone, with you in the sea all around me.
You pause. I must have taken the wind out of your sails. It doesn’t kick in immediately that I might be sinking my own boat. The waters are receding and the waves disappearing.
The old man asked if you met a boatman. You shook your head and added, ‘I know no boatman’. Suddenly my eyes are grainy and my throat is dry. I look at my hands, callused from rowing, a chill running down my spine. It is not that I expect you to claim me as your boatman, but these past few weeks at sea have been so perfect, so real.
You say you were sad when I spoke about nightfall and how I like to lie. You think it was too soon, you are not ready to know how I like to lie- it’s too far off, you say. You do not like to speak of the night or of distances beyond what you can see. I have sinned, for dragging your consciousness into uncharted waters, for speaking of tomorrow. And for my punishment I shall not expect to inhabit the sea alone. There shall be other boatmen, you declare.
I do not know what to make of this now, that I feel your gentle waves splash against the sides of my boat. Do I keep on sailing as you have asked me too, feel your waves, close my eyes and let you show me heaven? I want to. I take hold of the paddle, and shut my eyes. I do not see heaven. All I can think of is, another boatman taking my place.