Sunday, July 19, 2009

Once upon a time . . . 1988

He was standing on the deck of a small boat wearing nothing but a dark tan, a pair of Levi's turned up twice at the cuff, a baseball cap, and sunglasses. My eyes were drawn to the line of sun-bleached hair that trailed from just below his bellybutton past the unbuttoned waist of his jeans. Lost in thoughts of what lay beyond that zipper, I was yanked back to reality by the sound of his voice. It was deep with just a hint of a southern drawl. "Looking for some?", he asked. My tummy was doing flip-flops as I managed a weak "Just looking for a place to catch some crabs."
Without hesitation he replied "Try the Foc'sle." "Ok, thanks," I said, a little puzzled at the reply, as I wandered off to find the others.

Later that day I ran into him again in the restaurant by the docks. "Hey, sugar, can I buy you a drink?" There was that gravely twang again. He had his sunglasses off and I could see the clear blue of his eyes. "Sure," I said, hoping he wouldn't notice how nervous I was.

It was during that first conversation that I learned he grew up in Ft. Lauderdale (me too!), he was turning 40 on the 11th of September (I had just turned 40 in May!!), he was single (so was I!!!), and he was working on a party, or head, boat. He was trying to save enough money to get back to Ft. Lauderdale to see his daughter for the first time in 12 years. I spent that rainy weekend with him in the little cabin on his boat. When it was time to go back home I thanked him for the wonderful memory he had given me. I gave him my phone number but never expected him to call - but he did!!!!

For the next several weekends I made the eight hour journey by bus from my home in Connecticut to the shore in Narraganset, Rhode Island.

He took me on the boat with him and taught me how to tie a rig, cut clams for bait, and filet a scup.

I listened with rapt attention to tales of his life on the sea. he told the worst jokes and the best stories I had ever heard.

We shot pool and drank beer and played "Rebel Yell" (his) and "Sweet Child O' Mine (mine) endlessly on the juke box at the Foc'sle . . . his comment from earlier in the day coming clear to me.

I was totally smitten.

Now, when I close my eyes, I see that day as clearly as if it were a photograph. I don't know what forces were at work that rainy Labor Day weekend that brought each of us to that fishing dock in Gallilee almost 21 years ago, but I shall be forever grateful.

Steve is my Sweet Love, my partner, my biggerst supporter, and my BFF.

Take care til next time. K (aka Mad Beach Maven)


Dani said...

Beautiful Kathryn! :)

Kathryn said...

Thank you, Dani. There is more to come. K

Liane PrairieGarden said...

Okay, I totally thought I was reading fiction. I kept thinking, I have find out what other books this gal has written :-).

Great post. I'll to tune in for more.

Kathryn said...

Wow, I'm so flattered. Thank you, Liane, and please, do come back. K

Kate and Crew said...

Holy romance!!!! How great!!!!!!!