Archive for the coal freighter Category

Sidebar #1 or When I Was Six

Posted in Cape Cod, coal freighter on March 17, 2011 by smpiv

The ship is pitching in heavy seas.  The gray is the special gray saved for storms at sea where the horizon and the sky meet as one.

The ship is a coal freighter headed for Italy.  The crew is Italian. 

My brother and I are on the bridge with the crew as they worked hard to keep the ship on course.  As the ship listed from one side to the other we began to call out the angle.  10…20….25….28….30…cheer! 

“Silencio!”

No problem.  We began to stand on the high side and run to the low–again and again.

“Basta!”

We never felt the concern or fear of the crew.  Were we in danger?  I don’t know.  This was just one big carnival ride that happened to be in the middle of the Atlantic.

The sound, the smell, and the spray as it crashed over the bow—those sensations I can still feel and hear.

That intermingling of sky and sea; the static of the two crashing together; the roll and pitch of that, now toy-like, metal hull—I can still feel and hear.

I was six, so it’s difficult to say that I had never felt so alive, but all my senses were on edge—I was definitely alive.

Today on the Cape, I stood overlooking the sea, my nose pointed into the wind, the rain washing around me.  It was cold. 

Nothing pitched, nothing heaved, and my feet were firmly planted on the ground.  My senses were put on edge.  I felt alive.  I was six.

It was a good day.

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