[Note on “The Boat”: For various reasons, I’ve been hesitant to share stories on this website. That being said, if you steal this, very very bad because there is evidence, now, that it was posted here first. I wrote this story when I was fifteen, ironically on the day I started dating someone who would later tell me I’d never be a writer. And to this day, it is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written. Enjoy.]
Content: Suicide mention
Not too long ago, not far from you, a man sat in a boat. Often, he’d float aimlessly for hours. Almost every thought he ever had replayed itself as he rowed further from shore. He thought of the war, suicide, heartache and his sons. He’d wonder about Father O’Malley, who was far too wild to be a man of the Cloth, who never provided the solace the man needed. The waves took him in, coating his human worries with the smell of fresh saltwater and the sound as it moved.
You see, the man used his boat as much more than a means of transportation. His rowboat was a vessel into his own thoughts, a map in the clouded, murky sea of himself; a flashlight of sorts, to see what was hidden long ago. The rhythmic splashes of water on his paddles soothed his scarred insides. At first, he’d wished his boat would tip over and the waves would take him. But the more he’d row, each time he was in pain, the more he went out, the more he grew to love his boat, and had a reason to keep going.
It was a mighty “ship,” purchased at his wife’s suggestion. “Jim, you know how you love the sea – almost more than you love me.” The man, Jim, would hold her and say, “Impossible, the sea never gave me a beautiful family and something to come home to.” She was the most magnificent woman. The two walked into their small New England town, to the boat shop. There, the second love of his life was bought. Just once, he had taken her out to the very spot he was in now, and remarked at the beauty of it.
How he wished she were here with him. He had his second love, but it would never compare to her. He longed to join her, and live together once more. He looked towards the shore as he scribbled a note to whoever cared. He’d join his wife now, and that was final. His mind was clear and made up – as he stepped off his boat, leaving his second love for the first.