Not Lost, At Sea

Out in the salty vastness which is open water you will find a ship which, if boarded, will consume you wholly and without remorse. Although you spotted the ship atop the water and ventured a league or two motivated by the prospects of grand discovery (Oh so great! The motivation wrought of curiosity), once aboard it is clear that this a Sunk Ship. The wood is rotted, the iron rusty, and in spots you can see water actively rushing in. Inside the ship’s hold you will find a glamorous assortment of mismatched hardware: Carving knives from Sweden, a drafting compass from Russia, boxes on boxes of Spanish papers. Hundreds of bottles. Some empty, some half empty; none full. Pirate Rum and Gin the lot of them. There are two piles of books in the hold; A large one for English literature, and a small one for books of other languages; mostly Spanish, Chinese, and Hebrew. The door is never locked and you are always welcome to rummage around.

The deck of the ship is not pristine, but surprisingly clean. It’s aged and weathered; but know she has been at sea for 25 years, and you would believe the ocean to have a soft spot for this particular sailing ship. An assortment of woods were clearly used in the deck’s assembly. The effect is brilliant, and as one walks from bow to stern, one can get a sense of how time treats the different woods. Feel this rot and compare it to that rot; ponder what you would like to build your house of as you walk barefoot across the deck. I dare you.

As you traverse the ship, you may forget you are aboard a monstrosity. Every bit of this ship tells a story, and it is so easy to get lost listening to that old wood. You are lost in the eclectic nuances; the hand carved everything. Why are you on this ship in the first place? The ship you believed to be abandoned upon first sight; or why would you have sought out and boarded it?, actually has a captain. You find this out as he greats you.
“Hello! And welcome to my vessel! Piss Poor Decision Making. You may have seen it painted on the back. I am the captain and by joining me on my boat, you are speaking volumes about what drives you; about your curious nature. Let us adventure!”

You look around to discover your boat has vanished.


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The First Murderer I Ever Knew

It was late and it was cold, somewhere on the south side of Milwaukee, 2014. I was set to meet with a a gentleman who asked me to call him Black; and so I did just that. He was late, but he was consistently late. I sat in my car for 15 minutes and twiddled my thumbs to a beat. When he finally did arrive he acted an asshole towards me, but he didn’t make any effort to rip me off. Whatever, the guy probably lives a stressful life, I’ll let him be an asshole to me. We both left the scene immediately. I didn’t make it too far, pulled off to somewhere (else) that looked sketchy on the Southside, and parked. I untied an extraordinarily tiny knot knit from the corner of a plastic bag. I crushed up some powder and then decided to see what it smelt like. About right. Back on the road again, music blasted, I headed for home and made it in one piece. A fairly typical day for one portion of my life.

Several hours later Black texted me from a different phone number than I was accustomed too. It has been a long time since I have spoken to this man, and I won’t admit to remember the nuances of his communication, but the gist of his message was “Chris call me, someone stole my phone, and I want you to set up a meeting with them cuz they’re serving my customers.” My initial reaction to that was “Absolutely fucking never would I consider doing that for you Asshole.” And that’s how it ended up being. He tried calling me several times, and it’s not impossible I answered, but I certainly don’t remember it. He sent me many more messages, all quite jumbled; grammatically they just made me cringe. He wanted me to ring his stolen phone and arrange for a meeting on 86th and Silverspring. Eventually I fell asleep.

I awoke to more messages still. It turned into Black just updating me on the situation, and I wasn’t even the least bit interested in the happenings of him. drudgingly I walked upstairs and said hello to my grandmother. I was probably high, and she is dead now. She was watching the news, which is what she watched everyday, so I fell into the groove of listening quite easily. I saw information of a homicide on 86th and Silver Spring and felt immediate dread for the knowledge I was about to gain. A child, a literal baby, was the victim of a shooting. A young man had apparently fired into the wrong house, shooting the neighbors house instead of their intended target. The last time I ever saw Black was on the TV that morning. I meant to keep up with his trial, but more so I was hoping to just catch it on TV. I never did catch it. I do know he went away though, and he is probably still in prison. I told my grandmother I knew the man, and unfortunately he was just an angry asshole, I wasn’t surprised he totally lost it.

“While I’ll say he lost it! Who does he think he is?! Just going around shooting people!” My grandma understood me better than anyone, and therefore she never never pussyfooted around the meat and potatoes of a situation.
“I don’t know. But he won’t be doing it any more. He’s gonna go away for, relatively, ever. At this point I practically feel bad for him. I know a lot of assholes, but I would bet that man did not become a murderer on his own.”