Lost at Sea

I’m sitting at the stern of the boat right now, looking back at our wake stretching behind us over calm seas to the horizon. The sun is setting behind us, giving the clouds lined up on the horizon a glow around the edges. It’s nice. As the sun slips below the horizon I will be here to document the event. It’s only fair.

We are far from land now, just a small town with a motor sliding over the briny blue (which is noticeably bluer today). Dinner will be soon but I’m not really hungry and certainly not interested in being in a loud and crowded restaurant. The food’s nice but right now I just want peace and quiet. I’ll grab something later if I feel like it.

There was a group of us a while ago, and while the conversation was interesting, I didn’t feel like saying much. I enjoyed the company, but wasn’t inclined to mix in. We were discussing subjects that others knew a lot more about than I did (things like 3D imaging), and so I did my best to increase the listen/talk ratio of the group, and to keep track of the sun and make sure it set correctly. So far so good. The sun is partially obscured by a high layer of cloud, while below fluffy clouds line up below, raising occasional pillars as sentinels, their towering shapes gilt-edged by the rays of the sun.

A little bit of color is starting to manifest now, hints of salmon in the gap between the most distant clouds and the horizon. The sun is easing behind a cloud, allowing the fainter tones to shine forth. The colors are interrupted in one spot by what appears to be a squall. At other points the horizon has bumps – presumably the tops of yet-more-distant clouds.

I’m pausing to take pictures now and then, using my wide-angle lens because it’s already on the camera and I can be reasonably confident that somewhere in the shot will be a picture. On the tiny little video screen, the pinks don’t seem to be coming out the way my eyes register them. I’ve had that problem before; not sure what to tweak to fix that. I’ll deal with it later. Like everything else.

I like being at sea, but I don’t think it makes me very good company. There are days for thinking and they seem more common out on the water. I crave solitude; I want the chance to explore the melancholy I’m feeling, the wistful longing that can lead to good fiction. Unfortunately it’s really hard to be alone here for any stretch of time; in this small town it’s impossible to go anywhere without running into an acquaintance or someone who shares a common interest and would like to discuss it. Then there’s family. I thought that dinner time might be a chance for me to sneak off if I skipped the meal, but it was not to be.

The sun is now long set, and the boat chugs on for our historic leap and hop through the moon shadow. I’m tired, still not alone, and I want to get some work done before bed. Despite the fact I’m lousy company right now, I’m still not alone.

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