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A Life In he Day (57)

Later that night, as I met Willeker in the crews mess, He explained to me the nature of the
watches on board ship. The shifts , 2 hrs. stand by , in the mess , 1 hr. at the helm and 1 hr. on bow watch. His first hour was to be the bow, for him, so he asked if I wanted to join him?
“HELL YES!”, I said!
There was an eeriness that’s hard to explain. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it justice…………..
As you walked out on deck at midnight from the hatch-ways, all light and sound ceases. All one “hears” was heard thur the exposed skin to the night breeze, that blow across the black ocean.
The further away from the crews quarters amid-ship, the darker the world seemed to get.
The whole time I really didn’t bother to look up, but when I did, I gasped with such awe that I fell back on my ass, dizzy and REALLY SCARED!!!!! I was speechless! I couldn’t take my eyes off the heavens! I kept thinking, “I am such a nothing in it all!”
I felt like every Modern Day Space Hero I’d ever read about as a kid. Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, John Glenn, Capt. Jet!
The magnitude of it all! THE TOTAL BLACKNESS OF IT ALL! And then to see the millions of silver points of light that Gawd happened to sneeze on that black velvet! HOLY SHIT !!
Williker just leaned against one of the hatches and chuckled a bit and said,
“I’ll see you at the bow, son. When your done introducing yourself to Gawd.”
I really am not sure how long I lay there on the deck, but Williker must have said something to
the seaman he had relieved, I wasn’t disturbed for at least 1/2 hr. When I finally pulled myself together and made it to the bow, Williker was having a smoke and looking at the night sky also. Before I could say anything and without turning around asked,
” Well son? are you and Gawd on speaking terms yet?”
“What made you ask that?”, I asked.
“Well”, he said, “when I saw the look on you and your friends face, telling about what the two of you saw in that village in Central America, I kinda got the feeling that the two of you might of stopped believing in the Almighty. So I thought that a personal meeting between you and HE might be in order.Was I very far off the mark?”
All I could do was stand there and start to cry like a big baby.
He, like my Father might have done , just walked over and put an arm around my shoulder and said,
” I get the feeling that life is going to hold more surprises for you, son. Just be ready for them when they come to get in your face.”
After that, we just stood there and looked for any distant lights on the horizon until his hour on watch was up, then we walked back to the crews mess and drank coffee and talked for two hours.
The rest of the voyage was pretty uneventful, but I made it a habit to be on Willikers midnight to 4am watch from that time forward.
On some mornings while we were at the bow, we would talk of poetry, sometimes of his wife, sometimes of why I ran away from home, of what to look out for whenever I would hit a port city anywhere in the world, but ALL the times he talked? I listened!
Posted by Gaby at Saturday, December 26, 2009


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