When I was 12, I went to sea. I was on my father's ship for 6 months and 4 days when i caught a glimpse of her.
I had been sitting on a chair on the deck, watching island after island float by when my gaze started slowly moving downwards. I was almost asleep when i saw the fiery red tail splash next to the wooden paneling on the side of the ship. I jumped up, about to call for my father to see this magnificently huge fish when the creature jumped out of the water.
Attached to the red...
When I was 12, I went to sea. Don't ask me which. I don't know.
It was sometimes blue, and it was sometimes green. And when it got dark, it was black.
The air always felt clear and cold, pushing itself down into your chest. It filled your belly up. Then it would come out hot. Hot and wet.
You could look out, and out, and out. There was just the sky, and then there was the sea. Don't ask me which. I don't know.
Just the sky sitting on the sea.
Except once, there was something else.
When I was 12, I went to sea. I went to sea to see the sea. I had yet to see the sea until I was 12. Then the sea I saw, and the sea, she saw me.
We hated each other.
I had romanticized the sea, reading stories and poetry and all the great paintings of roiling waves and citrus sunsets, and salty captains and scruffy sea dogs. It got so I could smell the sea without having smelled the sea. And I couldn't wait to see the sea. So I went.
The sea, she was not pleasant that...
When I was 12, I went to sea. When I was 12 and 1/16th, I knew it had been a terrible idea after all and swam for shore. Shore turned out to be not where I started. I ate monkey brains with a wooden spoon, I wore voluminous silk pants in a brighter blue than had ever been seen before in my hometown so far away, I stole. It was a fine adventure. When I arrived home, dusty and below the dust a crusty layer of salt, and below the crusty layer of salt my skin nut brown, I was...
When I was 12, I went to sea. My parents hated me. I don't know why, they just did. I was a good kid. I just think I was a little too energetic. It all started when I threw my mom's car keys down the well out back of my house. Why did I do that? Well, it just seemed like the thing to do at the time. I saw it on TV, that was what I told her anyway. Yes, blame TV. Evryone always does, when we all know it all starts with parenting and your upbringing...but I digress....
When I was twelve, I went to sea with my father. My mother had protested out of worry saying that I was not yet ready for the trials of life at sea, but once she had been persuaded to allow me to go, I went with excitement behind my eyes and the song of the gulls ringing in my ears.
I remember the very first time I set foot on the deck of my father's small sailing ship. I instantly fell in love with it. The clear blue waves, the crisp air, and the reflections in the polished wood...
When I was 12, I went to sea with my father. I remember sitting in the boat watching the land go further and further away and calculating how long it would take to swim back. Of course, you can see where this is leading, the boat sinks, father saves son in an act of heroism, perishes. It ends with the son sitting and looking out at the waves and thinking of him. But I'd be lying, we went out, fished, turned around and came home. Fuck you story.
"When I was 12, I went to sea."
I looked up blankly. "Went to see what?"
"No. The sea. Big blue wet thing. You may know it as an ocean."
"No need for sarcasm." I muttered. "Why?"
"Why did you go to sea? Especially at 12. Other people go to the zoo. Or to the pictures. Or they go and visit the sea, they do not - unless that's what you mean? I'm going to start telling people I went to sea at 7. I'm sure I did. Probably got sunburnt or almost drowned or got eaten by...
When I was twelve I went to sea, aboard a small ship. They hired me to clean and sweep and feed the men, in exchange they said they would take me across the ocean to the new world.
A week or two after shipping out, a storm rose on the horizon. The wind she blew and rain she fell and waves crashed into the sides.
The captain went first, and then his crew, leaving just me and another, a drunk.
The sails were torn, and the bow was pierced, the hull became full of water. Neither of us knew how...
When I was 12, I went to sea. It was a hard life, scurrying around on the ship, hiding from the sailors. I was a stowaway, you see. I wanted to see what it was like. My dad was the ship's cook. He knew I was on board. He was risking everything by not reporting me.
We used to play hide and seek, late at night. My favourite spot was in the engine room, on top of the engine itself. It was bloody dangerous up there. I won every time I went there, because my dad never wanted to climb...