Romantic Image

Many of us writers who don’t have any sense aspire to be like a Hemingway type or at least like the popular notion of him...tapping away at a typewriter in some tropical port like Key West or in Cuba with the sound of the big palm trees swaying and swishing in the soft summer breeze...nursing some old glass of cheap whiskey or gin and smoking a good Cuban cigar...with a dim bulb that sits on the corner of an old wooden desk found in some second hand store that you begged the owner to come down in price because you just had to have it...it looked and felt so right when you sat at it...you were sure you could come up with something brilliant...and now there you are...old ramshackled room with an ocean view, a floor that creaks and speaks to you of those who have been there before with maybe the same dream you have...maybe they made it, maybe they didn’t...their stories are lost to the pages of history that have turned...personal treasure maps that have disappeared or that have gotten so old, that the paper they’ve been written on is so brittle that it just falls apart in your hands...if you could find it...you’re trying to come up with something but keep hearing some vague strains of calypso music that’s playing somewhere off in the distance, and every once in a while you hear laughter...the laughter of some old salts in town for a few days before they board their boats and head to Barbados or Jamaica or wherever their next charted course takes them...talking about how if they had any sense, they’d stay on land...and you’re secretly wishing you could join them on the next adventure because you always wanted to be a seafaring man...with a girl in every port...they’re washing down some fresh catch with some cold beer or warm rum...and a honey sitting next to them with deep blue eyes like the sea...well, I’ve got the drinking thing down, and the cigar part I’m still working on sir, and the ramshackled room...check...it’s all such a romantic image...and romantic images are enough to sustain you for a long time if you love it all enough...you live for nights like these and if nothing comes of it, so be it...you’ve made your peace with it...you can hear the far off sound of the water rushing up on the beach and then rushing back out...like it’s done for eons and will do long after we’re gone...it’s a restful place for the boats that are tied up next to the docks to slumber for the night and get a good night’s sleep and before that, talk with each other too...exchanging stories about the men who’ve rode them, the captains they’ve sailed for, the exotic places like Aruba and Martinique and wherever else they’ve been to and where they’re going next, and the storms they’ve gone through wondering if they’d ever get to port again...the sea can be like that, full of rage or glory...and they talk about missing some friends who got smashed up on the rocks...or sometimes just drifted on the ocean with no one to guide them...the whereabouts of their crew unknown...meantime, the water keeps doing its thing like it’s done for eons and will do long after we’re gone...it’s getting late, the music is still playing but you turn off the dim light and crash into the bed dreaming ridiculous dreams...and then maybe in the morning, you’re getting up early and going out and doing some fishing...maybe for marlin...just being out on the boat all day underneath the glorious sun or just going below deck and laying down on the bed and just relaxing with the waves...then coming back to your room to a 49 key lover who is waiting for you to caress it...and as the sun goes down, you make love to it and hope that in the morning you want to wake up next to it.

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