The gang from the boatyard, by God you had to love ‘em, the lot of them, every man jack of them; braised, poured, scratched, abraded, welded, mucked about by all of life, you had to love ‘em. Up front you have to know that those who had gotten nicknames felt honored, for that moniker stuff usually came from within, a private medal of sorts, earned without hoopla, seared forever. Those who hadn’t been so acclaimed patiently waited some kind of anointment, slow in coming, taking over like a root, underneath everything seen or known. Some of them had names like Max, Slad, Wilf, Muckles, Shag, Ronnie J, Slip, a feast of designations varied as character. And the sole captain of his own boat in the lot of them was Shanklin Garuf.
To a man, you had to love ‘em.
I wish my older self could go back and speak to me as a kid. Don’t we all? What to say though? I suppose some people would think about what wisdom and advice they could pass on. How many would be able to tell about specific people or situations to avoid? This would all make their younger self happier and more comfortable. A warming hug from a ‘Drop Dead Fred’ scene.
The two of them laughed as they skipped into the woods.
“You are rubbish!”
“I know sweet cheeks, my coordination is terrible.”
“It’s step forward, pause, step forward other foot, pause, step forward only quickly. Sing ‘Mary Mary, Quite Contrary…And You’ll get it.”
They both bent over laughing.
At an early age came discovery; left-handed it might have come, but it was discovery, the way a fairy tale casts sloganed light on a subject. Early on he’d earned his own laugh at “light without batteries.”
My early morning beach run on sucking, squishing, hard-packed, shifting sands marks the ebb and flow of my wrong way life.
I race up the dunes to my rental cottage ending with a lung busting, leg killing suicide sprint.
I sense them before I see them. There’s no red dot on my chest, a head shot maybe, easy ending, no pain.
Not this time, but soon.
There was always a queue to get in, too many drinks in an easy pub before hand and you were in trouble. You had twenty stairs to practise your date of birth. Even at the bottom of them you could hear ‘You Spin Me Right Round.’
“You expect me to speak to the Archbishop? Your ideas are somewhat radical Father. For you to get on in your career you need to know how to play the game.”
“Radical? I don’t see it that way Your Grace. I think we could do a lot of good. We would build bridges. We could now bring together two sides once and for all. We need to do this, not just with our religions but with them all! But we can start with what we know.”