Frank was singing ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’
We danced & I sent you home in a taxi
Your dreams ended up being quite damp
“Prepare to darken ship. Let no white light shine topside.” The loud speakers called out the same thing every afternoon before the sun went below the horizon. Life on a Navy ship is most remarkably characterized by the glowing red lights within the ship at night. Red light doesn’t travel as far to other ships, which would give away its position.
Corey Simmons always grew more anxious walking around the ship at night. He always over thought things at night. The red lights made it worse. The dulling of his senses walking through the pitch black into the red areas creeped him out. It put him on edge.
He was walking the passageway from his shop to his berthing. The red lights are spaced out every twenty feet or so. That allows for darkness to be spaced out every twenty feet as well. the red and black rippled down the ship’s interior. In one of the black areas, Corey hit his shoulder on a large electrical box. “Shit.” He rubbed his shoulder as he kept walking. Corey came to the end of the passageway. There was only a locked hatch. “Fuck man.” He looked around. He missed a turn or a ladder well. Turning around, he went back the way he came. He didn’t recognize where he was. Corey went down the first ladder well he came to. The aluminum ladder shook violently with each step. It made much more noise than you’d expect on a steel ship. Then again, steel toed boots aren’t the lightest of footwear. He still didn’t know where he was. That wasn’t so uncommon on a ship this size. He cursed himself for not remembering the frame and hatch numbering system. He should be able to use it to find his way anywhere on the ship. He walked for two or three minutes more, taking various turns and trying to find a familiar hatch or landmark within the ship. Most of the water-tight hatches were ‘dogged down’ to prevent water intrusion in case of flooding. That was rare these days, but precautions were always taken.
Corey could feel himself getting frustrated. He started to sweat more the longer he was lost. When was the last time he even saw someone else? Even though it was the middle of the night, someone else should be walking through these passageways. His anxiety was beginning to rise. Corey began to overthink the situation. His breath became short. Then he became light headed. He knelt down and put his head on the cold metal floor.
Dark thoughts began to enter his head. He thought about all the negative aspects of his life, about how he always felt inferior. There was a lot of bravado in his daily life. He overcompensated for having a low self-esteem. He began to think of past sins and indiscretions. He thought of that summer in college when he swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills to try to kill the pain. With self-loathing, Corey kept drudging up the past. He knew God. He knew he believed in God. He believed that he was forgiven of his past. Corey just couldn’t find a way to forgive himself.
In a moment of clarity, Corey remembered being young, maybe six or seven. The neighbor kid, Nathan something or other. He thought it might have started with an ‘A’. Corey remembered Nathan touching him and making Corey touch him in return. Nathan must have been thirteen or maybe a little older. Nathan made him go into a closet in the garage. It was dark in there. Corey was scared, so he did as he was told.
Corey didn’t know why he was remembering this now. He wished he hadn’t remembered. He wished he could forget it. He could feel tears roll down his cheeks. He cried until he passed out.
What must have been hours later…
“Dude!” Corey felt someone kick his shoes. “You can’t sleep here. Simmons, get the fuck up.” He felt another kick. Corey opened his eyes to see white lights all round him. They were bright. They hurt his eyes.
“Sorry.” he said. Corey looked down at his watch. He was late for morning quarters.
Detached from this very moment
Divided from the tumultuous past
Cleansed of all those broken hearts
Never allowing those storms to last
Unplugged from the hatred spewing
Their immoral intent will not be condoned
Souls can’t listen when the mouth rages
Settle in; victory reached when love is shown
The value of beauty is in the eye of the beholder
The actual worth is whatever we think it’s
We gush & praise those we arbitrarily favor
We adorn with strands of pearls & diamond trinkets
There’s no basis for anything upon these axioms
Our hearts shape opinion without logical reason
But to divorce yourself from these passions,
Is to condemn your soul to unforgivable treason
The antithesis of perfection
My own struggles lie deep and dank
Not one to remain in the mire
Happiness has misery to thank
Living my life with my own experiences
Not to be judged nor remotely compared
One must find their soul’s own truth
When you admit your failings, life can be repaired
Running headlong into Winter
The cold air forced inside my lungs
Stopping abruptly at the end of the dock
Arms out, catching a snowflake on my tongue
I ran out of land again
Isolated out here with my soul about to freeze
There’s no place left to escape
Shanghai’d again! My fate lies on the high seas
Walking out to the center of the room
Eyes focused on her, I’m exceeding my luck
She’s looking ravishing in her delicate gown
My dashing lass; perfect reason to don a tux
I’m the model of gentlemanly restraint
Our dancing confirms she’s forever mine
Each step, further into our carnal trance
Hearts & souls fatefully, eternally intertwined
Just keep pouring me the coffee. I’ll need it to keep warm. The air conditioning is over the top. I can’t handle it. The nights are long and they keep getting longer. I don’t feel the loneliness as much as I used to. But then again, I don’t feel much anymore. I’ve closed myself off from everyone and everything. You cannot save my soul, so please stop trying. I know I’m broken. I’ll probably never get over it. But that’s just the way life is going to be. People swarm around me, but I can’t feel anything towards them. I want to feel something again. I see those young ladies walking around in those short skirts. Yes, I’d like to do dirty things with them, but my tainted soul is no longer for sale.
We have too many judgements
& not enough compassion
A separation of Church & soul
Thus leaving hearts a bit ashen
We’re falling apart at the dreams
The frailty of human existence
Foundering upon our heartbreak
The final hope of our resistance