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Priveleged Vessel

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Jun. 17th, 2012 | 10:59 pm

New Orleans.

I look down at the Man Who Loves Stars and I realize that if I loved him as much as I love him, it would be not merely the terrifying that it is now, it would be an abyss that swallows me up. I am not a shore-paddler, I am not wise enough to take the boat out a few yards, test the depths, make sure she’s sound before committing to a voyage—I step both feet in and set out.

Mostly, I sink.

The Man Who Loves Stars whispers in my ear, we are having a whispered conversation after our whispered fucking that (hopefully) didn’t wake my roommate in the next bed. Tacky. He says,

“If you’re on the road, and you’re faithful, you end up sleeping alone all the time.”

And there it is. You can be good and lonely. Or bad and comforted. It doesn’t count. It counts. It doesn’t count, keep bailing.

* * *

Only other performers understand, only other people on the road get it. That a day of being clapped and admired while paid to do what you adore beyond all measure can still drain you enough to not call home after dinner. That down the pub with the other performers is still booking the next gig. That Switzerland-Germany-Austria-Amsterdam is still work and not a vacation. That coming home is sometimes extinguishing the light, losing the compass. That the dinghy tied to the dock, filled to the gunnels with duty and honor, capsizes as surely as the trimaran set out chartless and un-provisioned.

* * *

Belize.

She is lovely, and smart, and I like her. I like her almost as much as she likes me, enough to break out the rations and start checking sails. In the end, I have learned. There is only room for one in this boat. It only follows one route—there is no destination.

The water taxi pulls away from the island, away from her. And there she is, alone, her red skirt brushing the boards of the dock. She watches for not quite as long as I wave, and then she turns away.

If you’re on the road, and you’re faithful, you end up sleeping alone all the time.

There is always a leaver and a left. One on the dock, and one in the boat pulling away. I count my bags, I check my tickets, I pull down my sunglasses and turn my face to the wind ahead.




whipchick can be counted on to call home once a week.

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Comments {21}

Ellakite

So I have been told:

from: ellakite
date: Jun. 18th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
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You burn if you do. You burn if you don't.

Philosophers and saints have argued which is worse since the dawn of time.

I stay at home and burn alone... because it has been so very long since I met anyone willing to share the fire with me.

I won't ask if you've ever shared the flames while on the road. I am in no position to ask, and far less position to judge.

But I do wish you happiness and contentment.

Edited at 2012-06-18 03:38 am (UTC)

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whipchick

Re: So I have been told:

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 18th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
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Responded privately :)

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imafarmgirl

(no subject)

from: imafarmgirl
date: Jun. 18th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Boy can I understand the feeling of being too tired to even call home. Those are not my favorite days.

Beautifully written.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
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Thank you - I'm glad you 'get it' but also sorry that you do!

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jun. 18th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
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This evokes a kind of drifting on the water feeling for me. I love that the tone of the writing reflects the content like that.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
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Thank you! I'm glad it works like that for you :)

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Lose 10 Pounds of Ugly Fat...  Cut Off Your Head.

(no subject)

from: n3m3sis42
date: Jun. 19th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
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I could feel the melancholy. Sometimes there's only room for one in my boat, and I'm not even going anywhere.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
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Yes. Yes :)

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 20th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* That's far more often than I do when I'm gone.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
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I'm grateful my boyfriend now is 8 time zones away, so calling is optional!

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
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Lol! I don't suppose you could get him to take my mom with him? ;)

(j/k ...I think.)

(Although it occurs to me that I might very well be eight time zones from you now.)

Edited at 2012-06-22 08:19 am (UTC)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
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More than that, I bet - aren't you an Aussie? I'm in Alaska right now :)

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 23rd, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
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Lol, no, sorry! I'm a Southerner, EST, same as Gary, which is an immense benefit to reading deadlines. :)

I do sometimes use spelling variants from other countries, but mostly my spellcheck catches them, save for the week I deliberately spelled travelling with two L's for one of my friends. ;)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I miss being in EST - so much easier!! Last day of the last voting, I was in the coffee shop for a last hour of frantic reading, going, "you make it an hour earlier AND it's the week I'm four time zones behind???"

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 07:14 am (UTC)
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I had to work! I was emailing him a minute before I was supposed to be there, too. Thankfully the time clock was broke so everyone was a bit over a half-hour late while the manager fixed it....

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the_day_setup

(no subject)

from: the_day_setup
date: Jun. 20th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
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This is totally lovely and resonates deeply with me. And I've always been too chickensh* to step foot on a broken-down club-tour van.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
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Thank you :) I've done a bit of the band-tour thing, and man, I like regular showers way too much!

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alycewilson

(no subject)

from: alycewilson
date: Jun. 21st, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I imagine it would be difficult emotionally to travel so much. I liked the introspection here.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
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Thanks, I'm glad you liked the piece!

I've said lately that I love what I do, but I don't know how much longer I can do it :)

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

(no subject)

from: halfshellvenus
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
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It only follows one route—there is no destination.
I liked this phrasing. The boat goes where it is bidden, and the person at the helm lives in the "now." All the things you might want or goals you might strive for are still at the mercy of chance, unless you someday decide simply to get off the boat.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 23rd, 2012 12:34 am (UTC)
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I think that's ethically the hardest part - that it is very much a choice to live that life, and every time I'm in a relationship, I'm choosing to make it second place to my life.

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