Lost At Sea

Entry by: Godai41

9th April 2015
Lost—or Found? at Sea

I’m Merle—you don’t need to know my so-called “last” or family name. All you need to know is that I’ve had more than enough of sea vistas and lobster traps. And why not? I’ve ensconced myself here for umpteen years, ok, nine of them, and I will leave tomorrow, so I write this note to you; in case you ever find yourself in the same doldrums I’ve endured you, yes you, reader, whatever name you go by, will know what to do: leave.

In all fairness, though, I’ll tell you Bernie gave me a choice, I mean sort of. Even before we merged in marriage and then shifted here he tried to tell me about this place, this, as it calls itself, Nagenmon Island. Bernie has this ferocity for the sea and the lobsters that reside in the waters here. I mean he gave it to me straight, taking me out in the boat on one of our early excursions here. Not many I’ve encountered would have had the guts Bernie had to take me out right away on one of his lobster trapping trips, just he, I, and, later, the lobster enclosed in the trap in the boat. Of course, Bernie didn’t plan or recoil from facing and showing me the damage the lobster had done down under to the two or three fish that entered its trapped domain. To name them mere shreds, shrivels, torn to innumerable tiny grains, remnants of their former selves, doesn’t really reveal how the captured lobster had spent the time rising to the surface. I didn’t really even try to count into how many pieces it had torn them.

I don’t mean to demean Bernie. Residing with him when he stayed on shore with me, yes, counted for a lot. Robust, curious, eager, tender at the same time, blanched an appealing white, muscular, and experimental, he loved to walk the Island’s paths where he insisted none had entered. Once he encountered a more veteran Nagenmonan than he himself who remarked as they passed on the trail, “You’re the first person I’ve ever met on this trail.” He loves the sea so much that even when a world-famous author and painter came off the ferry to join a summer celebrity party he politely turned down the invite to meet her. Yeah, I mean really, yes, lots of reasons to stay wrapped in the Island with my protector Bernie still abide. He even likes to read, and not only books about fish, islands, or the ocean. He introduced me to Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, that elusive Harold Frederic who danced across the sea several times between London and New York and crossing the Channel managed to dally in the then diseased, dead-men filled Marseille to write a piece for The New York Times. Bernie even tried to protect me from the Maine cold, but I’m tough and didn’t need it, having survived a multi-sweatered childhood back home in my childhood Galway. I taught him a few lessons about what cold really means.

Still, I’ve got to go. And I will tomorrow. I can’t survive pacing along the miniscule sand arena they entitle the beach here. And the ocean panorama that the hungry-for-life frantic tourists rush to each evening, calling out, “Merlie, come and look at the beautiful sunset,” never even hit any kind of nerve or vein or any interior organ I possess. I mean for one fact I’ve seen better. Yes, during my work days across the pond and then some 3000 miles beyond, way out in Laguna Beach, I have to confess the colors, the intensity of the pacific wave motion, and the height from which I gazed down, hit a nerve or two over the years. And yes, my benefactor there for many sumptuous years, thank all the quasi deities, didn’t turn ear, eye, fishing line or anything else toward fish or, ouch, lobsters. Until swimming in a portion of infected sea shut him down for what now seems like forever (r.i.p. Albert) we roamed each other and the poetry he both read and wrote. He gazed at the sea, but he could see Miltonic heights way beyond it. What more could I have desired!

Tomorrow, then, I leave Bernie with his sea. His sea doesn’t even anchor near the One that opened for a people to feel free. It doesn’t even compare with old men and their fish in the Caribbean volume of the same sea I know in Nagenmon Island. Of course, it cannot compete with my pacific Laguna water partner. I can’t envision even Pittsburghian moms joyfully rolling down the Negenmon beach to the sea. So I will go.

I know losing me he has lost something but I know also he himself will never be lost at sea.