Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Paging Dr. Freud! And Jimmy Buffett...

After Alf the Beagle apparently pushed me to the brink of the bed this AM, I fell back into a deep sleep and had a dream — unremembered — that triggered a long-lost memory. I woke up thinking I smelled pineapple-scented suntan oil and Meyers Rum. Not a bad thing, to be sure...

I also woke up thinking about a time when I was — briefly — washed out to sea on a tiny catamaran with a beautiful blonde in requisite itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie bikini with only a bottle of Meyers Rum for sustenance. Call it like 30-35 years ago in Florida. The cat was a Hobie 14, with a sail I'd custom-ordered in yellow and lime green; the blonde a reporter — and friend — with a sailor's tan, permanent suntan oil scent and the requisite vicious turn of phrase; the rum was off the shelf. The idea was that she'd teach me to really sail, instead of the haphazard water lizard I was. Lesson 1 was an afternoon after work in the local word factory, with a freshening off-shore breeze. So we headed out to sea, and she headed into the rum bottle.

She sailed with that intensity rich girls bring to horses and boats. She drank the same way.
The more she drank, the farther away from land we got, and the greater her dishabille. The bikini was her sailing suit, faded to washed-out pink with whatever elastic it once had long since gone. At about Rum 50% gone, the breeze picked up, the little cat sceamed west toward...the Yucatan...and I pondered a view that by rights belonged in a steamy Travis Magee novel — big sun-stained healthy girl falling out of her bathing suit, watching a taunt sail...dead freaking drunk.

The wind died at dusk, and I couldn't see any lights of land. She let the sail sag, leaned back on the cat's trampoline, said, "Well?" and passed out cold. I drank the remaining rum and contemplated the tanline along her right breast while we drifted in the wan moonlight. I considered pushing her overboard and chumming for sharks. I tried to think of what I'd tell the Coast Guard when they no doubt found us. I wondered whether the Mexican authorities would seize my boat if we kept drifting west.

Several hours later, the wind came up and I started sailing us back. Eventually, she woke up and took over the sailing without a word. Sometime after midnight, we rediscovered land. There never was a Lesson 2.

Jimmy Buffett would know how to spin this...

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