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 16. My mother was no longer living and my sisters were gone in marriage: to a blacksmith, to a merchant, to a rich man. The old house was home to someone else. I took out my silk pants and then I went again to sea.