An elaborate sailing metaphor - part one

David, okay. I get it. You don’t even want to text me. Fine. You’re still mad at me, fine. It’s fine. You fucking idiot, fine. But you’d better be SO damn happy dude. This girl had better be “the one”. She’d better be sucking your dick just the way you like and rubbing your neck before bed. There had better be pancakes on the weekends and dog beach afternoons. If you ever hesitate to go home because you know she’s there, or pause outside in the hallway before unlocking your own damn door then you’re the biggest idiot in the world. Just because I wasn’t able to Amazon Prime myself to your doorstep in a neat tidy package with a bow in my hair. Just because I needed a minute to stretch my legs and fill my lungs full of air. Just because I’m on my own damn timeline and not yours doesn’t mean you can’t love me dude. You have no idea what happened to me. You never asked and I never told you. So here it is, not that you'd even care to know. 

Don’t get me wrong, this is still the story of a white girl from Orange County. There is no rape, no real violence and nobody dies (except a few grandparents). But within those parameters this is a story of a very real and precise pain followed by a long,  messy betrayal. It is also the story of how I found my way back into the drivers seat of my own crazy life; bad decisions, good decisions, angry animals and all. And like how I’m soooooooooooooo fucking happy about it.  


Imagine you’re on a big beautiful old wooden ship, very rustic lots of potential, capable of a lot. Lots of ammo, lots of provisions, a capable captain (well educated, good family) and a dog who can’t swim. There’s an itinerary, a map, a compass, a plan, what could go wrong? There is a sky above us and clean blue water below, what is there to be afraid of? Sure, you don’t know how to sail, sure. Sure everyone you know thinks you’re crazy, sure. But there’s a fresh breeze and sunshine and a whole world to see and you’re in half in love with the man (surely that’s enough to go on???) and half in love with the adventure. (That’s 100 percent love you guys, the math checks out.) That’s it, so you just go. 

It’s a bit like jumping off a diving board. The most insane part physically is the part where you’re in the air, but the part where you’re in the air is the part where you have nothing to do and no control over your trajectory. It’s the most insane, but also the most peaceful because you’ve been relieved of all decision making responsibilities. All there is to do is fall. You couldn’t not fall, even if you wanted to. The part where you’re the most secure is the part where you’re the most freaked out, and the part where you’re least secure is the part where you’re most at peace. All the fear lives in the decision. 

So you go, and you sail far far away. At first, it’s easy, one of you navigates the other one steers, one of you cooks, the other one cleans, one of you fishes the other walks the dog, one of you does the laundry and other one mends the sails. And every day is bright and fresh and clean and the sex is good. You feel safe, even though you’re in the middle of nowhere and everyone thinks you’re crazy and you’re still learning how to sail but it’s coming together. 

Then a storm comes, fine, you expected it. NBD. The storm hits and it cracks the ship and water starts to leak in, by the time you notice it’s knee deep. Fine, you deal with it everyone warned you of this with all that “well, marriage is hard” shit. Captain does not seem concerned, as a matter of fact Captain is hard at work holed up in his quarters working on something amazing that will turn the ship into a spacecraft. And once the ship is a spacecraft, we won’t have to worry about the water leaking. But there is a bit of a problem, you see the spacecraft is really important and really complicated and you love him so you should help out, right? Right. He can’t cook or clean or fuck you anymore. He has to work on the spacecraft, he’s the only that can do it and his mother told him that her personal priest had a premonition from g-d that this spacecraft is important, it’s his purpose here on Earth and it’s more important than everything, even you. Really? Even you? Yes, yes even you. It’s sad but it’s true. He loves you, you believe him. He loves you, you believe him. Ok, you say, I can do this. I can sail the ship. I’m smart and I’m pretty and I’m strong. Why can’t I sail the ship? There’s absolutely no reason, I went to college. I’ll sail the ship and walk the dog and fish and mend the sails and negotiate with pirates and navigate by starlight and cook healthy meals and clean everything. And YOU will build us a spaceship, cool. Deal? Deal. 

Ok so you do all that, and it’s really hard. And the leak from the first storm is still there, and things start to slip through the cracks. First the laundry piles up, and then the sink with dishes and then the dark circles. You start to feel like a captive in your own life.
You’re never relaxed, you’re never pretty, you’re never clever enough or fast enough or comfortable. The hits just keep coming, another storm, another wave and once in awhile Captain emerges from his lair to berate you. The ships falling apart, the dog is sick and lonely and bored and destructive. There’s nothing in the fridge, no dry places to sleep, nothing warm to wear. You don’t know where you are or how you got there and on the horizon is nothing but pirates and dark clouds. Your eyes are always full of tears and your muscles always ache. The sharks circle closer. Another storm. The mast cracks, another storm. You limp along a little while longer. 3 years go by, just a little while longer. You cling to fantasy: the spaceship will be done soon. this is just a test. no one said sailing was easy. soon we’ll be in peaceful waters again. there won’t be any storms in space, only rainbows and good sex and warm clean beds with white sheets. In the very end only one of the fantasies comes true: one day you will look back on sailing and feel proud that you fought so hard for so long. 

Then one day, terrible like all the rest, your Captain appears with a big fucking smile on his face. He’s done it, it seems. The spaceship is ready and you can put all this shit behind you. It’s true he confirms, it is done. It’s done and it’s magnificent.


to be continued...