Turtles, Marooned

Someone nicked my old domain name, while I was gone. I should’ve explained that, probably. They nicked it and stuck a VR porn review on it, and never touched it again. Brilliant. Really.

So, anyway, I grew up by the sea. I liked that: who wouldn’t? The sea has a smell, baked kelp and warm barnacles, salt fish, wet sand. It has a feel: it’s bloody cold. You go in and you’re freezing. You swim faster to stay warm. The salt water’s buoyant, so you can swim farther, too. You could swim all day. Swim from Prestwick to Arran.*

I left the sea when I was young, and I spent most of my life trying to get back to it. I did this…this slow creep across Vancouver, this twenty-year crawl, from East Tenth to Seymour, down to Burnaby Street, and at last, to False Creek, which isn’t quite the sea, but here was my view:

I took that through a glass of water, so everyone else would have to see what I see, when I can’t find my specs. But that’s the Granville Island bridge in the distance. And those posts in the foreground are masts: that’s a marina. I thought of getting a boat, but I’d only have slept on it. I’ve forgotten how to sail.

Still, I’d got as far as the inlet. My slow march to the sea had but one leg to go. I dreamed of it, sometimes, my own stretch of shore—all stony and covered in cormorants. Just like home. I never got there, of course. I’m like one of those turtles—those turtles, you know?—all bamboozled by the lights, toddling up to the skyline? Here’s my view, now (I’ll get into that ladder some other time—isn’t it just dreadful, though?):

Quite often, in the morning, clouds collect in the laps of those mountains, back there. They lie along the ground, all the way to the pines. Like a calm inland sea. If I leave my specs off, I can’t tell the difference.

Here’s to home.

* I never did that.

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