truth, sushi and emergency exits

6 January 2013 § 2 Comments

I sat at the sushi bar and mixed fake wasabi with low-sodium soy sauce. I felt like I’d visited an end of the universe every day for a week. Heather and I talked about small things like how people display discomfort by looking away or scratching their neck.

The place was packed, a crowd outside waiting to pile in. A crusty man in Carhartts stood up to put on his coat and laughed. Tables fit like Tetris blocks, so not talking to your neighbor was impossible. More often than not it meant that you knew who was getting fired at so-and-so, and who cheated on who, or why Androids were better than iPhones. A boy told his parents about a girl he knew. Heather finished the last piece of the tuna roll.

“Here’s the best piece of advice you’re ever going to get,” said the pony-tailed fisherman. I need in on that.

He looked the four-year old straight in the eye. “Don’t be reckless with people’s hearts, and don’t tolerate others being reckless with yours. Enjoy your meal.” He laughed some more, and his wife bid the young family good night.

There’s a sign over the one of the exit doors of the universe that says ‘no one leaves unsatisfied’. I read it last night in Southern Oregon, somewhere between the green glitter of the stars and the indigo penumbra around the edges of the Milky Way. People were bustling about the room, breathing and helping each other. The quiet flame flicked at the air, made space seem less bulky for a while. Like it was something easy to hold. I held my hands up for as long as I could.

And they don’t, really. Leave unsatisfied. The path is the path, and it ends where it ends. Sometimes the crest of a hill obscures the dead end at the top, and other times there’s someone going so perfectly in the opposite direction you smash into each other. I heard tonight that a Bristol Bay fisherman, one of my ilk, was killed in a head-on motorcycle collision a few days ago. He was visiting a fishing friend in Bali. The Ark Angel, his boat, may not fly come summer.

Meanwhile, crews commit and assemble to envision an abundant and joyful next season. I got a promotion on my boat, and Heather’s running the Silver Kris. She manifested a perfect crew, and plans to spread her father’s ashes off the bow. He’ll return to his home the ocean and be with his fish again.

Everything is speeding up. Life at velocity. I have friends who love me, and want to spend time with me. What a weird sensation. I think I’m going to go for a walk in the woods for a few days. Maybe I’ll find a pond and look for what they see, and fall in love with myself like Narcissus. Freud said a certain amount of narcissism was a good thing. It was the first form of love. All that stuff about loving yourself before others can. I’ll go with that.

I’ll just try to not be reckless with my heart.


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