See this? This is my therapy.
These are my dreams and this is my way to close my eyes and see something other than, say, the homeless man dangling on Lexington with a dirty paper cup, asking for change at 5:30 in the morning.
This is my weight to balance the off-balance moments, like now, when the stress comes. I need to do this. I have to or else . . .
Or else I give in or worse, or else I explode in a sense and jump down the throats of the people I love the most. And put simply, they do not deserve it. No one does. So I defend them (and myself) by playing a game called visualization.
It’s cold now. Winter is doing its thing. But me, I am somewhere else
Would you come?
I slip away sometimes and think about days when the sun was high and the wind was warm. I think about the waves that crash into the shores and the inlet where the boats leave. I think about the blue sky above and the outbound ships that head out to sea.
I think about the sound of seagulls calling out while flying in the air behind the fishing boats. I suppose a man’s gotta eat. And so do the birds. But I don’t mind them. I see them as an integral part of the sea.
I think about the Jones Inlet Buoy. I think about the way the sun feels on my face as I stand behind the wheel of my boat. I am cruising now and moving somewhere around 20 knots.
I am cruising past the small crafts that drift over the fluke spots and pull up some good sized fish. I caught a nice sea bass there. I remember this well.
I can see pods of birds working the surface, which means bait fish are swimming around and beneath them are schools of bluefish, hungry as ever, voracious and mad, eager to chomp down and bite everything in sight.
Bluefish are fun to catch but the meat is too oily for consumption. They get in the way during the shark trips. The school around the boats until a shark comes around. And then they split, fast as ever too.
The Yankee Wreck is only about 20 nautical miles out from the inlet. I’ve fished there before. I was never too successful there but I was successful enough to create a few memories. I reeled in a 250lbs blue shark. I took in a small mako shark too but that one went back to the sea.
I’ve fished the H.A. Buoy and the Virginia Wreck. I’ve fished at the Texas Tower, The Mako Motel, and the Hudson Canyon. The best of my trips was out at a place called The Dip.
We pulled in more than 700lbs of yellowfin tuna that day. I never saw a day of fishing like this in my life. Everything was perfect. The weather, the company, the coolers filled with tuna meat.
It was all perfect.
More than the catch, I suppose what I remember most was the feeling I had on the way home. I was at a rough spot in life. I was in the throes of a divorce. I was afraid of the upcoming battles I was about to face. I was afraid to be alone but at least I had this; at least I had the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
This was not on my boat. I was not the captain that day by any means. No, I was just a friend. I was just another fisherman. More than anything, I was happy to watch the horizon change after the sun came up. I was happy to see the world out here in the middle of the sea, which is entirely different from the way life is when we’re inland.
This is beautiful, I say.
This is breathtaking. This trip and other trips out to the fishing grounds are the reason why I feel this deep connection with the ocean. I love it out there. I really do. And someday, I’ll be out there again on my own steam, sitting in the wheelhouse of my own boat and cutting like a knife through the waves on my way out to the fishing grounds.
This is my dream.
I’m not there yet. My finances will need some adjusting first. I still look at boats for sale. I like to pick out the one that would be perfect for me. I can see the boat in my mind. I know how I would rig everything.
I like to think about me and my love, heading out to sea with no one else around but us, the sun, the sky and the ocean below.
There’s a word for this . . .
It’s called spectacular.
I call this a dream.
Better yet, I call this me.
Can you see?