chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From Sin.

My granddad lived in the West Country, and loved to go sailing. He taught me to sail, I think. It was something that was passed down from father to son, at any rate. A tradition of sailing men from the first Dougherty to the last, all of them at home on the water. My own father was… not overly fond of sailing, to tell the truth. And I can understand why, now.

He kept the little boat in top condition, even after he had given up racing a long time before I was born. I have never seen a more beautiful piece of workmanship in all my life than when I saw the gleaming hull of my grandfather’s past.

My granddad’s boat had survived numerous occurrences of capsizing, after his racing days. Back in the 1920s, he was one of the men who built up as much sail as possible, until the little sloop was almost unwieldy, and then sped around the coast of Cornwall, winning trophies. I asked him about it, once. How he made it around the rocky shores using that much sail, when so many capsized in the bad weather on the coast between Dublin and Wales. He smiled, and pointed to the lemon yellow headsail with a twinkle in his eyes.

“The trick, laddie,” he said to me, “is to fool them with the sail.” The sail was so solidly bright, he told me, that no one saw the rest of the crew trapezing, giving the little sloop more leverage and keeping the mast upright.

I tried to imagine it, when he took me out during the summers. I would stare long and hard at that sail, picturing men hanging on the other side, drenched in sea spray and bouncing jauntily through the waves. The sun would beat down hard on me and the men in my imagination, burning a picture of the sail on my retinas. I can close my eyes now and see it pictured there, ghostly figures hanging nearly in the water superimposed and the sky bright bright behind it.

I wanted to know everything from him, wanted him to teach me anything and everything that there was to know about boats. He smiled and said his old bones were not as good as they used to be, but he would tell me what he could. He would pull me into the chair beside him when I was small, and pointed out with leathery fingers the shape and rigging of various boats, things my father was too busy to do. He would take me out, on the good days, and say that my youthful energy must have been rubbing off on him when we would come in hours later, energized rather than weary.

My granddad taught me how to sail. He taught me how to rig my little sailboats, how to handle the wind and water and read the sky. He taught me that the sea is a mistress that can be yielding one moment, then bitter and turbulent the next.

My granddad gave me the sea. I gave him my youth. There are times when I wonder if that was a fair trade for him.

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this is nice. i like reading about sin's interactions with his family (and, of course, the sea).

though... the way you set up the first paragraph, closing with "And I can understand why, now." it makes it seem like you're going to elaborate and explain that, but that wasn't what i got from this bit. just a beta-ing thought.

but i like it.

i know... i think i want to elaborate... but maybe a different story... one that follows immediately after. i think i may fiddle with the word count a bit and then try again later.

sin is like.... the sea's homeboy. there is no sin without the sea.

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