I have this dream.
I am on an ugly, filthy, rusty ship with a vile crew of criminals and murderers. These aren’t comic-book or movie characters, these are the real deal. They bristle with aggression and violence and you know they would cut your throat as soon as look at you and feel no remorse.
There are no friends on this ship.
I am standing on deck looking back at the shore where I can just about make out my wife, with our two boys: standing together looking out towards the ship, and occasionally waving (although it is clear that while the ship may still be in view, no longer can they see me)
For my part, I am frantically waving, trying to get their attention. The story is that I’ve been press-ganged. Sitting innocently in a dockside bar I have been attacked and kidnapped, forced aboard this putrid vessel and put to work as a cabin-hand by day, chained to the deck rails by night. Forced against my will to work and fight as a member of this pirate crew.
But my family don’t know this. As far as they are aware, I have just taken myself off, possibly in search of some kind of adventure. Never to return. I will disappear. Missing – presumed dead.
As she and the boys begin to slip out of sight, I realise that for some strange reason, I can still clearly hear them, although when I try shouting out. It has no effect.
“Where’s Dad gone?” The Boys keep asking
“Why has he left us?”
“Is he coming back?
“Are we going to go too?”
She sighs “I don’t know, I don’t know … Come on … we had better get back …”
I shout and I shout “I love you, I’ll be back, don’t give up on me …”
But it’s of no use. They can’t hear me.
They become ever smaller dots on the shore until finally they disappear from sight and my ship of horrors slips into the inky blackness.
I am still waving and shouting.
Cry? No. If I started I’d never stop.
© Andy Daly 2010