Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor, prologue

Now that I know what the end of the story is, I needed to add something to the beginning. So here is the new beginning; if you are following the story, you need to read this part first, and then the first and second installments. I have provided a segue into the first installment.

I awoke, knowing something important had happened the night before, but otherwise not exactly being capable of rational thought. My head was experiencing shattering lightning bolts of pain, as if sledge hammers were being pounded against it on alternating sides, WHANG WHANG WHANG WHANG WHANG, incessantly. My mouth felt as if my tongue and the inner surfaces of my cheeks had been replaced with cotton balls, and there was a nasty sour taste that I wished I could swallow away, but there was no moisture with which I could accomplish that swallow. My stomach was churning up a hurricane-force storm as well, sending little spikes of bitter acid up to the back of my mouth, where the cotton worked to hold the acid in place.

There were sounds out there, most especially a loud moaning sound that I was eventually able to identify as that of ropes under tension, creaking. I had a feeling like whatever I was lying on was not stationary, but rather was moving in a light up-and-down motion. Gradually, my senses regained some ability to register my surroundings, and I realized I was lying down on a fairly firm surface, and my head was propped up on a weird structure that my hands probed and I eventually identified as a sloppily coiled-up rope. I seemed to have some vague memories of something having to do with that rope, and those memories seemed to have some importance, but my brain wasn’t making those connections.

I came to realize that the clamor in my ears was really just my own heartbeat. I found myself wishing that it would stop, because being dead would be preferable to what I was now feeling, which, now that I noticed, seemed to include a sensation of being rocked back and forth.

Eventually, I worked up the energy to crack an eyelid open, and I regretted the lightning bolt of sunlight that entered in and pierced right through the eyeball to slam another shock of pain through my brain. I let the eyelid snap shut, but not before I’d taken an admittedly blurry snapshot of my surroundings.

I was in the cabin of a sailboat … I seemed to have some vague recollection of it from the night before. I was lying on the settee, with a table in front of me. From the angle at which I was lying, I couldn’t see much of what was on the table, just an empty bottle that had once contained cheap brandy. I could sort of sense that there were a couple of other things on the table, but I couldn’t see them well enough to know what they were.

How the hell had I ended up here, I asked myself. Vague pictures flicked themselves up on the inside of my eyelids, a charming fellow with bright-blue eyes, a tale he was telling me, something about his boat. Yeah, it was a good story he was telling me, I began to remember …

I was sitting in this bar, when a sailor came in …

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