It’s 5 a.m. I am a breeze, upside down. At this moment I want to throw up, but the sun will be here soon enough and everything will feel different then.
I hear the splash of waves, the static of the sky, the roosters cry. Why are roosters so confused about when the sun will actually rise?
I was anchored in front of Huahine woman’s head, then the wind shifted. I don’t know where I am anymore.
From this new angle, the Mountain Woman appears to have an Adam’s apple. She’s dark green too, all of her. Her mountain of breasts, her mountain of belly, her mountain of knees. Her green hair of curls and foothill feet, fall into fish.
The mountain woman is sleeping, like everybody else. It’s just me and the roosters and I am as confused as they are; about life, about day and night, about how I ended up here, when I was over there.
I float here bewildered by the absurd circumstances which circumference my current life, but I don’t want to talk about these moments yet. I first want to talk about all the moments that came before them…
Upon anchoring in Huahine, I discover the 12th dimension of the lipless. All you have to do is close your eyes and open your mind to get there. It feels like twilight. I spend several hours there.
After rising, I ride to see the sacred blue-eyed eels. I pass the ruins of an ancient temple and learn that Tane is the God of love and keeper of everlasting paradise. I learn that a mythical canoe divided this island into two. I learn that a goddess hid inside a drum and floated here to avoid an arranged marriage and when she danced the whole world fell in love with her.
I pass a woman bathing naked on a rock. She looks at me. I look at her. She looks away. I look away. I look deep into a shallow river and find the eels: topaz eyes, bodies long and fat, sharp teeth. I feed them tuna from a leaf. The sky turns to strawberry milk and spills into Mountain Woman’s mouth.
There are other days and other things too; I sail to the end of the blue lagoon. I chase fish through a coral maze like a sea monkey. I see stone fish, moray eels, starfish- purple and soft. I find a yellow pearl. I surf. I drink cold coconuts. I meet a painter. I ride bicycles around the island twice; once south to north, and again north to south.
It is on this day, today, the day of the second bicycle adventure, from north to south, that life gets weird. I am with a French couple that lives on a yellow sailboat named Zen. We are riding past palm trees and blue water. I say, “Do y’all ever feel guilty that this is our life? That each day is this epic?” The shake their heads no.
The woman is a nurse and she looks like a starlet. Blonde strands, almond eyes, and a body as thin as an insects. She can eat too, whatever she wants; chocolate cake, foot long sandwiches, lobster, sweet bread. She eats it all fast, without breath, like it’s her last supper or like she’s been hiding under a rock in a war torn country and eating dirt and boiled rubber for the last seven years.
We are pushing bikes up the tallest mountain around. I’m about to evaporate. The sun is the same temperature as hell and each step is liquid. The starlet nurse tells me what’s hidden beneath this island’s charm. She says sometimes men sneak aboard boats. That once they did so and beat an old sailor until he was blind in one eye. She tells me that it’s best to sleep with some type of weapon nearby. She also tells me that last week, in this anchorage, a sailboat blew up and one person died. It was a bare charter boat and they think it’s got something to do with gasoline mistakenly put into a diesel engine, but nobody really knows.
We fall wheel over wheel down the backside of the mountain. The road gets flat. The starlet and her partner pedal ahead. My handlebar screw is loose and I’m wobbling all directions just trying to bike straight. A chicken crosses the road. Why? For the same reason it later flew into a tree, because it wanted to. There is a man sitting in a patch of grass. He turns his body towards me with his left hand waving and a smile that reeks of rum. He yells out “La Orana, I love you.” Guess what he’s doing with his right hand? Take one wild guess?
That’s right! Pants unzipped and his palm is piling on the pleasure. My stomach feels as angry as a snake trapped inside a tuba. At least this man was on the side of the road and everyone else must have gotten his peep show as they passed. I catch up to the Zen couple. They saw the man, but he was clothed and just talking nonsense when they passed him.
Why does this keep happening? To me? It’s so bizarre. I have to change this story, I can’t let it bother me or perceive it as taboo, or it will keep happening. Here are my new story options; 1-these men have mistaken me for some goddess and they are performing acts of devotion, 2- these men have mistaken themselves for Gods and are under the notion that they are creating new universes each time they do this act and therefore need a witness, 3- these men are apes disguised as humans, 4- the devil mounted these men and is trotting their bodies around as easily as one would a pony, 5- these men are ancient Egyptians and they think I’m the Nile.
I go home to Juniper. I can’t believe it, but I’m over it. Sort of, not really, but I don’t know what else to do. If we feed our attention to anything it gets fatter and I want these experiences to disappear. Plus, separate from this, I’m still discombobulated. Home doesn’t feel like home anymore, dark questions echo, and I still can’t find my toes.
I go to sleep with my weapon. It’s a raw amethyst crystal candle holder that weighs several pounds. If anybody comes aboard I’m gonna bop them over the head with it and maybe it will knock them out and knock some light into their souls.
Around midnight I hear someone swimming nearby. I lock myself inside the boat. I fall back asleep. The Maramu winds come on like a headache. I wake up again. I don’t know where the swimmer went. There are gusts like tornados. I look out the porthole to check my relationship to my neighbors. I’m good. I sleep. Wind gusts. I wake. I look. I sleep. Wind gusts. I wake and that uncontrollable part of me, that thinks wicked things, thinks, “I wish Juniper would drag.”
Who is that? Why are they in me head? That voice is a wrecking ball. Why are they obsessed with destruction? Why do they want to demolish the bones of my bones and leave me with nothing but bubbles. I want to find this voice and whack it with my amethyst crystal candle holder weapon until it’s a nature island song.
I fall back asleep. I wake up at 4 a.m. I look out. I can’t see any boats. Where am I? I see a green light flashing to my right. I turn on my chart plotter. I’m in the middle of the freaking pass, 30 feet deep, reef everywhere, current pushing me out, ocean less than half a nautical mile away. It’s dark as mud and I can’t see and that damn voice in my head is so powerful that it created this!
I wish someone else was with me. I call my boat neighbors. Nobody answers. I turn on the engine. I pray. I crank up the anchor. I don’t even know what it’s holding onto. I don’t pull the anchor all the way up, just enough to release it from the bottom. I leave it dangling, run to the cockpit, throttle up fast, and steer back towards the anchorage. Most of the planets in the anchorage have burnt out stars. I can see as well as a blind woman in a bat cave. Juniper’s bow is about to kiss the smallest planet when I register the outline of it. I reverse my spaceship and drop the rest of the chain in.
Once Juniper is set, but I’m floating too close to my friends catamaran. I keep an eye. I think I’m dragging again, but I don’t really know what’s what because I’m still lost in the cave. I pull the anchor up again. I almost smash into their boat. I reveres. I reset. I can’t sleep.
Now we are back to where I started, and I’m just waiting for the real rooster sunrise cry and swallowing down this sick feeling inside.
I have a 40 lb CQR anchor. It came with the boat. CQR’s were designed in 1933 by a UK mathematician. The name originally stood for “Coastal Quick Release,” but was later changed to stand for “Secure.” I can now attest to the fact that these anchors are anything but secure and they do quick release! Flaws galore. Known for dragging in soft mud. Unable to sink into harder sea floors. Inconsistent setting. Skipping like school girls across the seabed. Releasing holding in wind shifts due to their hinged shanks.
A boat is only as good as its anchor. A body is only as good as its anchor.
Anyway, I ask you this? What is the probability that two blood burning events would occur within less than 24 hours of each other, and then both reoccur again, five days later, on a different island, also within less than 24 hours of each other? I think I’m experiencing a high-low. Or maybe there’s some a wrinkled warp in my frequency. Or maybe I am under a spell. Or maybe my moon is in sextile to my venus… I don’t even know what that means, but I‘m all at sea, so to speak.
Inside, my waters are turbulent and I’m ready for a tidal change. I tell my sailboat friends that I’m having negative thoughts, wishing for Juniper to disappear sometimes. They say, “what your doing is so hard, I couldn’t do it alone,” or “I can’t believe how well your handling everything, I would have already lost my mind.”
In reflecting further, it has nothing to do with Juniper. It’s not her. It’s me, I am wayward. Why? I no longer want to own this boat and this adventure alone.