12/20/2013

The Seaworthy Vessel (Short Story)

The Seaworthy Vessel

The first time he saw her, he thought there couldn't possibly be anything better. She was just the right size, with beautiful sails and a gorgeously painted hull. She floated atop the water with majesty, and all those who tried to sail her failed in spite of their best efforts. He hopped aboard, ready for his try at a long sail on the perfect boat. Our sailor went alone, hoping to take this seaworthy vessel from port to port with pride.

Upon leaving the dock for the first time, there was a strong wind shift that sent the boom crashing straight into his face. He was left with a black eye and high hopes for success. He took this forceful blow, without noticing the omen that the world was trying to show him. That first day out sailing the perfect boat was unparalleled by any of his past experiences. He returned to the dock feeling uplifted and amazed by her powerful beauty. His hands shook as he held the tiller tightly, but he had confidence that he was the one who could master this vessel.

Every movement of the boat was done with amazing grace. After an uplifting first sail, he was inflated by his ego. He took her out again shortly after, and completely lost power over the sail. He was stuck headed directly into the wind, struggling to regain my acceleration. The conditions were far too much for him to handle, and he went back to port to consult experts on marine navigation. They told him to just give up, that he was not ready for the seaworthy vessel of his dreams, that he didn't know what she could do to him.

Ignoring the advice of his peers, he walked down the dock and raised the sail yet again. If he could master the vessel, he would be sailing the most powerful boat in existence for the rest of his life. He was drawn to her complexity, fooled into thinking he had found the right boat for him.

Despite howling winds and cloudy skies, he refused to give up. Each discouraging moment was further motivation for his eventual success. He trudged on, hoping that eventual mastery would come to him. He was convinced that this seaworthy vessel was created for him to happily sail forever.

Each voyage left him feeling more down on himself, but also more hopeful for the final challenge, when things would come full circle and he would be able to handle her perfectly. He should have seen the signs, should have heeded the warnings from the other sailors. They all told him that this boat was going to be the death of him. They were tired of seeing him return to port with a hanging head and a heavy heart, but the thrill was enough to keep him going.

The sight of the beautifully unique sail risen high in the sky sent shivers down his spine. The struggle of manning such a powerful vessel brought an unmatched rush. He knew that if he could figure out how to keep her steady he would never tire of sailing her. He thought he could learn to keep her steady, but in the end all she taught him was how to properly swim.

The last time he took her out there, he was at the height of his frustration. The conditions were far from favorable, but in ignorance he went out to sea anyway. He had tried so many times already, what was one more? He made it out of port just fine, but the wind picked up and sent a rouge wave crashing hard from starboard. He was sent flying overboard, while she drifted further out to sea alone. Bruised and beaten, he swam back to shore in misery.

Every day he stares out over the water and remembers the time spent trying to figure out the way she worked. Now she's gone, but he's learned to swim really well. He hopes that one day his seaworthy vessel will drift back to shore, and if that day comes he hopes to finally be ready for her. In the meantime he wanders the shores, searching for his next seaworthy vessel, one that he can handle. The perfect boat provides the sailor with endless satisfaction.

1 comment :