When a yacht sails, it leaves nothing behind - cruises through the waters like there is nowhere it would rather be. Its sail directs instead of being directed, tickling the wind as the mast stands straight with pride. We, however, left a part of ourselves on that boat. At least I did –doubts drowned in the Mediterranean, insecurities drifted along with the breeze – those wafts that belong to either late night or early morning, those that stroke our skin and inch us into risks we might have otherwise not taken.
We were told from the beginning that the yacht would be sold, that caution was required as time was limited. We went for it anyway, warned to leave the place the way we found it. I’m still not convinced it’s possible to leave anywhere as it was found. That boat will keep the breaths I exhaled and the words I dared speak. I tattoo myself over places just as I do people, not leaving anywhere, or anyone, the same. Nothing means anything if it isn’t done with passion.
Maybe we weren’t the boat itself, but that last night on it – intoxicated with the absence of tomorrow, swimming in a storybook plot while we had the chance, all the while our tongues burning with the proximity of the yacht’s sale. It feels wrong to call myself a writer when I’ve never understood the meaning of the word bittersweet until now.
While the stars sketched themselves onto the still ocean surface and our legs dangled over the dock, the words got caught in my throat. I couldn’t say them not because I didn’t want to, but because three is not enough. Neither is two. My sister once asked me what the word paradox means. It’s this: every day together we’re a day closer to coming apart. It’s a tick tock until the inevitable expiration date.
Expire is defined as coming to the end of a period of validity. So, like most of the words I’ve attempted to use to describe this, expire doesn’t quite fit. Because it implies you and I will stop being valid. I’m not naive enough to think there won’t be others later but, right now, it’s the freckle on the middle finger of your left hand and it’s the brown patch of your right eye. It’s you.
They say every writer sprinkles a little of themselves over all that they create. I’ll apologise then, because I can’t involve myself without implicating you too. I’ve always preferred realistic fiction, and this is as real as it gets.
The next morning, our clothes already sticky with the July humidity and the smudges of yesterday’s makeup circling my eyes, I said a yacht would make a good setting for a story. I smiled as I did so because my mind flashed forward to piles of coffee cups and a desk drowning in loose papers. In the daydream, my thoughts flashed back to that night on the yacht, paradoxically seeking a spark of inspiration. I won’t pretend to predict the future, but I have a funny little feeling that that story, our story, will be written someday. Some things are predetermined that way.