Hi Folks. Don't take this one too seriously. It's just fun. Thanks to Mikothebaby for her usual excellence in editing. Just sit back with a tall, cool glass of whatever and let's take a trip.
As we strolled along the dock holding hands, I looked at my wife Natalie. Despite the fact that we were approaching fifty, she was still as beautiful to me as ever. I guess we needed to do more things together to re-kindle the flames of love into a roaring fire again, but the embers were still alive.
I looked back at the parking lot to assure myself that my other great love, my 2013 Mustang Boss 302 was still okay. Then I grabbed Natalie's hand and we started walking along the docks.
Besides the other strollers, there were plenty of people on the docks. There were games of chance to play, different types of food to sample and lots of performers. I saw jugglers, stilt walkers, singers, musicians, clowns and even a mime. I hate mimes.
We hadn't made any concrete plans or a schedule. The point was just to spend a day together and rediscover whatever we'd lost. I didn't think that we'd lost anything. Maybe I saw it as a case where over time our hot burning romance had simply cooled to a level of heat that we'd be able to maintain for a longer period of time.
It's almost as if Natalie thought that we were still supposed to be constantly smooching on each other like when we first met. We'd been together for a long time now and we were no longer young and fresh. It didn't mean that I loved her any less or that I was less attracted to her. In fact, I probably loved her more.
Over the years we'd become more important to each other. We'd become more a part of each other's lives. It would be far more difficult for me to walk away from her now than it would have been shortly after we met.
My viewpoint about the whole thing was different than hers. She seemed to think that we had lost the passion in our relationship. I was sure that we'd only lost the desperation and the uncertainty.
I took Natalie's hand and pulled her closer to the water as the mime approached us. "Take that Marcel", I thought, with an evil grin on my face. Apparently he was a better mime than I thought though because he was able to convey exactly how pissed off he was about being snubbed, solely through the expression on his face.
"Ooh, let's go for the lake tour," giggled Natalie. "It looks interesting."
I looked at the boat with a mixture of skepticism and outright scorn. The boat just didn't seem to be all that seaworthy.
"Come on Rob, it'll be fun," cajoled Natalie, sounding more like the young woman I'd fallen in love with than she had in years.
I looked at the boat again. This time I looked at the two man crew. The captain looked like a former athlete who'd gone soft. He still had all of the bulk he'd had before, but he hadn't retained the definition or hardness of his muscles.
He tipped his hat and smiled at us. The longish, greasy hair and yellow toothed smile reminded me more of a biker's mom than it inspired me with any degree of nautical prowess.
The only person I could think of who made me less inclined to feel safe was his crewman. The guy was a one-man screw up squad. Even as he walked up the gangplank to stand by the captain who was standing by the safety rail on the deck, he tripped over seemingly nothing and almost fell overboard.
And the boat itself? It was called the Guppy? It looked like it had to be left over from the war ... the Revolutionary war. There was no way I was getting on that boat.
"Come on Rob," she said. "I need my big strong husband to protect me from the dangers of the sea."
"Don't worry, sir," said the captain. "It's only a quick tour of some of the interesting places around the great lakes. We show you some of the coolest hidden islands and some of the most famous wrecks in history."
"Do you show the area where the Edmund Fiztgerald went down?" I asked.
"Are you high?" he asked. "I've been sailing these waters since I was about 12 and I'm still scared of that area." He looked at me like there was something wrong with me. I noticed that Natalie was looking at me like I'd done something wrong too.
I was about to just grab her hand and go home, when the crewman stepped in. "What I like is all of the mysterious islands in the lakes," he said. "Some of them are uncharted and some of them are haunted. In fact, there's one of them that people say an Indian chief lives on, that boats can't get anywhere near because of the high winds and crazy waves. We could probably sail past there."
"But wouldn't we be in danger of sinking?" I said. "This boat doesn't seem to be very seaworthy."
"Nah," said the captain. "That island is only dangerous in November. In the summertime like now, it's perfectly safe. But give it a few months and that place is like hell on earth. There are winds so strong they'll strip the paint off of your hull. I've heard about rogue waves that come out of nowhere that are fifty feet tall and move like watery freight trains."
"Wow, have you ever seen one of them?" I asked. Once again he glared at me like I was an escaped moron.
"If I had, I wouldn't be here talking to you now," he said.
Again I noticed that my wife appeared to be siding with this lard-assed, tuna smelling boat jockey.
"The rumor is that the Indian guy ... I mean Native American guy is some type of Shaman and he's in love with the spirit of the great lakes. I've heard of weird, purple lightning and other worldly screams coming from there in the fall. Some people say that those conditions are what wrecked the Fitzgerald. I've also heard that the storm followed the boat from that island to its final resting place. So we might not go near where the Fitz went down, but maybe going near the island is the next best thing."
I nodded my head and paid for the tour. I figured that if I had to spend the next three hours with my turncoat wife, I may as well be doing something interesting.
I looked at the passengers that were already aboard and saw what could best be described as a truly motley crew.
There was a group of four women in their mid-twenties who'd already begun the expected whispering and giggling. Two of them were reasonably nice looking, if average. The other two also fit the expected stereotypes. One was the tall, well built, blond goddess type who needed to check her lipstick every seventeen seconds. I imagined that the real reason for her to pull out her compact and turn away from everyone that often was because she was using the mirror to look around and make sure that everyone could see her.
The last member of their party was the fat girl of course. And while not comically obese, she was rather stouter than all of her friends and she obviously worried about it. She wore slacks instead of shorts and a long sleeved blouse to cover her thicker arms. But, of course, in the grand old tradition of her kind, the blouse was low cut enough that it highlighted the assets that she was the most proud of.
Seated somewhere near the chattering women was a guy. That's the only way I could describe him. He was just a normal guy. If I wasn't already me, I'd have thought that he was. Like me, he was in his mid to late forties. He was average sized and built neither skinny nor fat. His hair, like mine, was brown and had yet to succumb to either baldness or graying. In short, he was just a guy.
In the area close to the guy was another woman. She was a very light completed black woman. She seemed to be alone. She was very attractive and probably could have been very beautiful if she'd bothered with makeup or any of that stuff. Her hair which was long and thick and silky was pulled away from her face and tied into a very severe bun. Her clothes were very loosely fitting and did nothing to either add to or take away from her body. I couldn't really make out the contours of her shape either. I could tell from her arms and hands though that she was relatively thin.
Across from her but clearly not with her were two nerdy type guys. They were both small with huge glasses and were locked in a discussion about something that sounded like schoolwork.
The captain and his first mate started getting the boat ready to leave the dock. Just as they started to untie the lines holding the boat to the dock, two more guys appeared.
They each handed the captain some bills and then stepped on board the boat. They looked around and then settled in somewhere near the women. They were both bigger guys and both relatively young. One of them walked around looking as if he thought he ruled the world with the other as his sidekick. It almost seemed as if the second guy was paid to agree to everything the big blond guy said.
I did notice that Natalie seemed to take a particular interest in the two latest arrivals far more than anyone else on board. I got up and went and sat on the other side of the boat. A few moments later she came and sat near me.
"Nat, maybe you should go back to where you were sitting," I said.
"Why, Rob?" she asked.
"I'm beginning to see your point," I said. "Maybe we have drifted apart over the years. I guess I never saw it. I always thought that everything between us was fine. I guess I thought that we still loved each other and though we'd gotten older we were still the same people."
.... There is more of this story ...