Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reset ...

Car, tram, airplane, van, train, metro-link, bus, dink ... HOME!

For more than a month I lived alternating between four rooms, each roughly the same size and shape. The floors were smooth and carpeted and still, never once rippling to send light dancing in all directions. The walls were hard rectangles equally still. Except for a louvered hole here and there, no breeze flowed through them. Except for a window here and there, no light flowed through them either. No matter which way I turned the view extended a few feet and was stopped by a drab so dull as to be numbing. Looking up was even worse. Instead of sky and sun and an entire cosmos of stars laid out in a feast for the soul, there was only more drab. The sound was muted. The colors were muted. Even the temperature was muted.

Three of the rooms held a resident TV which was usually the only source of pretend movement. The TV didn't move of course, just the obviously 2D pictures that danced across the screen. They weren't pretty pictures either. It was hard to tell which was more insipid, trite, shallow, violent, and twisted, the news, the "shows", or the commercials. I finally decided it was a draw. "News" that has been thousands of years in the making got summed up in minutes by people who clearly had no clue. Not only did they sum it up, they were quick to suggest what it all "meant" and who should be blamed for it. TV shows from decades ago (a station called MeTV – don't bother) were openly racist, overwhelmingly sexist, and just as violent as the modern versions but lacking the special effects. At least the commercials were honest about being pure propaganda. Some were so blatantly BS that I swear the narrator / actor / pitchman was winking at the camera. It was almost as if he / she were saying, "We know nobody believes this crap, but they pay me big money to say it like I believe it, and you should see the size of my house".

Then, yesterday, I scrambled up the last of the eggs in the 'fridge, toasted the last English muffin, downed the last of the orange juice, and brewed some coffee in the last of the coffee filters. (It was actually the second pot through that filter. There was one less filter than there were days, so it got recycled to fuel my heading home.)

The car ride started at 1115, the dink bumped Kintala's starboard side right at 2200. It was dark. Thunderstorms flashed out to the east, northeast, and southeast. The bow swung back and forth, unable to decide which one was heading our way. I sat in the cockpit trying to get my bearings. Apparently us human beings calibrate our senses to fit the surroundings. Lightning on a horizon open in all directions, wind shifts and temperature changes, stars and a near full moon back-lighting a massive thunderhead and its ice-cap cloud, waves splintering the moonlight and sending it dancing in all directions. My room-dulled senses where being overwhelmed.

I didn't sleep much. The boat was uneasy, or I was. One of the storms finally found its way overhead. The sound of the wind hummed in the rigging, lightning flashed, thunder rolled; none of it was muted, none of it was dulled. This morning I stumbled my way through the morning routine sleep deprived and wishing I could take it easy. But we need to get heading north this week and there are tasks that must be done.

While others tended to shopping and laundry and taking care of kids, I humped 140 gallons of water to the boat in four trips. It is summertime in southern Florida. The sun fried my indoor pale skin. Muscles used to sitting for hours and challenged only by pushing wheelchairs down padded hallways, balked. Feet long laced up in shoes searched for purchase on a deck that wasn't as familiar as it should have been. Hands as soft as a CEO's pampered paws chafed at hoses and lines, cramped at the weight of water jugs. By the end of the day I was sore, tired, dehydrated, slightly ill, and maybe a bit touched by the heat.

But grand kids needed to go swimming and I couldn't bring myself to say "no". We beached the dingy on the island near the marina and I waded out into neck deep water keeping an eye on the little ones. The water was warm enough to ease sore muscles but still cool enough to leech the heat out of my core. The sun settled behind the next round of thunderstorms. Back on Kintala a cold shower washed away the salt and the last of the sting from my sunburned arms. Dinner was served and along with the chicken, rice, fruit, and corn were glasses of water and a cold drink. The kids went back to Floating Bear for the night. Deb and I settled into the cockpit for the rest of a quiet evening. Lightning danced on the western horizon. A near full moon rose to flood the flanks of the storms with a pure white light, but Kintala kept her bow pointing the other way. Not sure we will see any rain tonight. But unlike last night the place was familiar, comfortable, ...

Home!

2 comments:

Rharriscpa said...

Nice to see you are back home. Safe travels after your projects are finished if they ever are....

Joel and Emily said...

Home Sweet Boat :)