Intimacy at sea

Friday, 16 November 2012

SHE IS A MOUSE in his trouser pocket, snuffling around. Hearing echoes of footsteps trouncing up the gangplank, overheard conversations muffled by cotton lining and big city grime. The 5pm East by West ferry is departing on time.

-- "I love the way you see the world," he laughs at her once back on the telephone line. "A mouse indeed!"

The same merry amusement as upon discovering she likes to dress up cowgirl - boots, denim skirt, flannel shirt, horse head belt buckle with an old metal toy cap gun slung into her belt.

-- "You go out in public like that?"
-- "Of course."

A pause.

-- "Are you okay?"
-- "Yes.
    ...I just wanted to hear a friendly voice."

-- "Oh yeah?"
-- "Of someone special. Stop fishing for compliments. You know that's you."

-- "Uh-huh."
-- "Who doesn't judge me."

-- "Talking to you opens my mind, girl."
-- "Have you departed the shore now?"

-- "Yes."
-- "Goody. Keep a watch out for dolphins for me. If they appear, you could swim home with them. Even if just in your mind.
    ...So, how are you?"

He is, as always, busy. Busy being ridiculously good at whatever it is that he does.

-- "We haven't hung out for ages. Is it time for a weekend adventure with you, Ms P. and me?"

She loved his freakishly stunning Amazon-legged girlfriend of eons, because he did. That simple.

-- "Yes! I miss you. And I want to rub your belly, to see how it feels, your little guest."
-- "Ha, ha. Are the dolphins there yet? I've been feeding the fish too. But it's okay. I'm over that now."

-- "A grand adventure it is then. I'll check my diary as soon as I get home and text you. I'm going to lose reception soon."
-- "Surely swarthy sea dogs don't need cellphones. They have Morse code, semaphore, talking parrots on their shoulders and hooks."

-- "Hooks?"
-- "And probably warm wenches below deck with ruddy and inviting thighs... do you think there's any real pirates in Eastbourne?"

-- "Anything's possible. But I know one thing for sure."
-- "What's that?"

-- "That there's a mouse on this ship, snuffling about."