The waves make this weird noise, you know… as if they are having a conversation. At the distance I can see the horizon, the setting sun and a few ships. Closer to the shore, near the dock, are yachts and boats, anchored, constantly moving up and down… as if waiting to be set free.
I love the sea, but it also makes me sick. Not your ordinary sea-sick version, though I suffer from that as well. I long for home and even though I come from a place where the only water bodies are two giant lakes, the smell of the sea reminds me of home. You’re late by 10 minutes and I have started tapping my foot impatiently.
An old-man stops (beside me) and stares at the sea. I was a little wary at first, but there was something about his face. As we stared in silence, I guess he decided the murmuring of the waves or the distant scream (yes I call it that) of an eagle wasn’t enough. “Stop tapping your foot,” he said. So, I stopped.
“Have you ever been out at sea? ” he asked. I was in no mood to talk, so I let my pig-instinct take over and I grunted a yes. “Have you ever been in love?” he asked. This time I turned and looked at him, with my eyes widened. It didn’t seem to bother him, he continued to stare. “I’m scared… and I tend to throw-up,” I said. “In love?” he chuckled. “To go on boat rides,” I said with a serious tone as I continued watching the kites fight it out in the clear blue sky.
“Though,” I added. “Love is not very different… the only difference is that I don’t throw-up.” He sighed and proceeded to say, “I was a lot like you… afraid and I also always tried to sabotage the relationship…”
“Did you succeed? ” I asked, I had to know. He didn’t reply.
“I was a sailor once and you’ll have to trust me when I tell you this, ” he said continuing to look at the horizon. “It’s not a pleasant day or a tempest that a sailor fears… the days when there is no wind whatsoever, when the ship is stuck at a placid place… That’s when trouble starts. But, that’s also when one has to hold on to hope and think fast. A well-travelled sailor knows that this will pass too. Love too is quite similar, ” he smiled.
“The phase, where things are placid, is when you’ll have to trust that it’ll pass, not many sailors do that. They try to escape it or avoid it, ” he said. “Love is not the flirty high, love is when things get placid, there is not much motion and yet you decide to stay because like everything else, it’s just a phase. And it shall pass,” he sighed, his deep blue eyes seemed lost. It was just what I needed to hear…
“You remember that when you’re stuck there,” he said.
As I looked out at the sea, the ships were making their way to the dock… When suddenly two men came running towards us. “We’re sorry, ” they said. “This is the third time he ran away from the mental asylum,” they continued talking… as they caught him gently and walked away.