Saturday, January 28, 2012

Navy days-The light in the darkness

Normally when I went out on the fantail at night, the sky was teeming with stars. There’s nothing like the magnificence of this work of art. It’s the perfect place to stargaze, out on the rolling sea with no light but the stars themselves. To witness this is uplifting and calming, it’s almost as if you can touch them. This visual euphoria is gently inscribed into the archives of your mind.

However on this night not a star was visible. I slowly walked out on deck and stood in silence. I listened to see if anyone else happened to be out. Not a sound. The visibility was zero, and you could not see your hand in front of your face, literally. This complete darkness was something I had not experienced before or since. Our running lights were off too, so I’m sure we didn’t want to be spotted. I was happy the sea was calm otherwise I wouldn’t be out getting air that night. To fall overboard would be, to never be found again.

I then heard the hatch open and someone walk out on deck. I kept inquiring, hello who’s out here? At the time I didn’t know it but it was a mistake to mark my location. I led him right too me. Then he was in front of me, I felt him with my senses. Suddenly a flash! He had a camera! The combination of the darkness and the camera flash was like pouring boiling water on ice. I started melting! Everything changed in an instant, my senses were scrambled and I was in trouble. My first logical thought was to hit the deck. I wanted some sort of stability in my frenzied state. If I would have wandered off I could have went overboard.

I’m not sure weather that’s the only picture he has or if he snapped several after I was down. I wouldn’t know cause I was merely bacon in a frying pan on high. To lose control of your senses like that is scary. Never found out who it was. Never inquired or told anyone after it happened. Thought if I kept quiet that it would become clear who it was. If by some chance you read this, I forgive you. The good thing about this, is that when things seem to blindside you or seem completely out of control, just hit the deck and regain your balance. Then get up and move on.


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